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How to Start an Autism Diet

By Edited Nov 13, 2013 1 0

Changing your child's diet really could help...

You may have heard of the autism diet, but felt it was a little too difficult to do. Cutting gluten and casein out of your child's diet isn't as difficult as you might think. The younger your child is when you start, the easier it is. 

I have a 15-year-old with an autistic spectrum disorder and we've had him on an GF CF autism diet for 6 months now. Since starting the diet his tantrums have decreased dramatically and he no longer has chronic constipation. Many parents with autistic children know that these digestive problems aren't uncommon with the disorder. 

Starting the diet can seem like a challenge at first, but once you do you may be surprised by the results. It certainly doesn't hurt to give it a try.

Research the autism diet thoroughly to figure out if it is suitable for your child. There are multiple diets that people use to help autistic children. I have experience with the GFCF diet. Another diet that some people use is the GAPS Diet. You'll be able to find plenty of information about various diets online. There isn't any scientific evidence that these diets work, but there are plenty of stories from the parents of autistic children. Read books and websites about the diet you choose.

If you choose to use the GFCF diet find out what products contain casein. Casein is a protein found in dairy products from cows and other animals. You'll also need to eliminate products with gluten from the diet. This can be harder than eliminating dairy.  Gluten is hidden in many products. It's found in wheat, barley, oats, spelt, and rye. Gluten is hidden in foods under other names.  Here's more information about hidden sources of gluten

Some people like to start the diet gradually. Maybe they'll cut out gluten first and then slowly cut out casein. Others like to start everything all at once. Do it whichever way will work out best for your family.  In my family we started by cutting out casein then worked our way through cutting out gluten foods gradually. 

Add healthy fermented foods to your child's diet. These foods aid in digestion and promote the growth of healthy bacteria in the gut. Raw sauerkraut and kimchi are great fermented vegetables that can be served as condiments with your meals. 

Cut MSG out of your child's diet. MSG is found in many foods and is harmful to the brain. It's usually labeled as "natural flavoring" on ingredients lists.

Tell everyone in your child's life about his/her new dietary restrictions. Letting friends, family, and your child's school know about the diet and how to follow it will make sure that your child doesn't get food that are restricted from the diet when you're not around. Besides diet there are other natural remedies you can use to help with autism. 


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