Autistic children may not only require behavioral therapy and medications for autism, but also appropriate dietary patterns in order for children with autism to maximize wellness and achieve full potentials.
Normal individuals who want to become healthier and fit usually undertake dietary changes to improve the amount of nutrition and limit any excess in fats and calories. In the same way, children with autism may also require these changes. In fact, pediatricians, nutritionists and researchers advocate that caregivers implement an autism-specific nutrition.
In televisions, autism treatments even include dietary changes because any faults in diet may cause intensification of unacceptable behaviors by the autistic child such as self-harm. The management of autism is also not geared towards “cure” because improving the state of health of children and maximizing potentials are more realistic than curing the condition.
In this line, appropriate dietary changes for autism may involve the same dietary requirements for people who want to lose weight. Other dietary changes may be specific for autistic children because of the problems that the foods may cause to autistic children. The following are the most essential dietary changes for children with autism to maximize health condition:
- Provide high protein diet
High protein diet is essential for autistic children to prevent muscle wasting. Since autistic children are less engaged in motor activities, they need an adequate amount of proteins to develop their muscles. In addition, proteins contain essential amino acids necessary for various body processes including those that happen in the neurologic system.
- Provide adequate slow-digesting carbohydrates
Slow-digesting carbohydrates such as whole wheat, barley, oats, brown rice and whole wheat bread and pasta are the ones that should be given to autistic children instead of the white counterparts (white bread, white rice, etc.). These slow-digesting carbohydrates are able to provide a sustained amount of energy as the child undertakes various activities. In contrast to fast-digesting carbohydrates, they tend to dump glucose in the blood leading to a more hyperactive status that can aggravate any repetitive and self-harm behaviors.
- Limit fats
Fats are very difficult to digest, and autistic children usually have problems in digestion so limiting fats may help prevent diarrheal episodes and indigestion.
- Increase fiber
Fiber is also essential for autistic children because fiber improves the digestion. Fiber from fruits and vegetables prevents constipation, which is a usual problem in autistic children. Make sure that they get a regular dose of fiber by adding fruits and vegetables in their diet.
- Avoid gluten-rich foods
Although autistic children need slow-digesting carbohydrates, make sure that these products are gluten-free. Autistic children usually are intolerant to gluten that may lead to digestive problems such as abdominal pain, diarrhea or constipation. In addition, gluten intolerance may also lead to irritable bowel syndrome. Gluten is present in wheat, flour, glutinous rice and other products containing these ingredients. Nevertheless, you can provide gluten-free preparations of these food substances in order to also provide energy to your child.
- Provide grass-fed meat
Autistic children should also be provided with meats that only come from grass-fed animals such as lamb meat, organic chicken and turkey and lean beef. Pork usually comes from farm-raised pigs that are fed with commercial feeds. Commercial feeds contain harmful chemicals for autistic children that may intensify their hyperactive states.
- Limit oxalate-rich foods
Children with autism have high oxalate levels in their blood, which is correlated to autism symptoms. In this regard, low-oxalate diet may be beneficial in minimizing autism symptoms. Foods high in oxalates should be avoided suchas chocolate milk, black tea, soy milk, sesame seeds, nuts, blueberries, kiwi, blackberries, celery, carrots, olives, spinach, potatoes, and squash. Foods low in oxalate should be given to autistic children suchas apple juice, cheese, green tea, whole milk, butter, avocados, bananas, raisins, peas, cucumber, honey and mushrooms.
These dietary requirements for children with autism may help reduce autistic symptoms and help children have maximum potentials and learning abilities.
Guest Author Bio
Dr. Amarendra is interested in guiding autistic people on diet changes and requirements. He is also interested to promote diet programs such as BistroMD and eDiets. Visit this URL to know more about BistroMD and click here to check out about eDiets weight loss programs.