Autistic Spectrum disorder and ADHD presentation is very broad. Each individual diagnosed develops and presents slightly differently and as to date there is no specific underlying cause. Specialist who work with Autistic children do agree that early intervention is the key. Parents and family members working with a core group of Therapist, Pediatric doctors, nutritionist and health coaches can develop a structured specialized program moving in a Positive direction towards functional daily activity and social development.
Healthy eating and a balanced nutritious diet are an important building block towards managing emotions, processing information and learning. Children with ASD may require restricted diets and a set criterion addressing meal times. Visiting with a food and health nutrition expert or a Certified Health Coach can begin the process of working thru food allergies and the best dietetic food options. Provided are a few basic suggestions to begin building a nutritious diet and food plan.
Foods to avoid
- Gluten – avoid all foods made with wheat. High on the intestinal and sensitivity allergy list. Modified Ketogenic diets have shown significant changes in behavioral issues
- Cow dairy milk – a protein called A1 casein can also triggers inflammation and intestinal issues effecting nutrition absorption. Goats milk or kefir may be an alternative
- Sugar – Avoid all forms of concentrated sugars found in candy, desserts, soda, fruit juices.
- Food coloring and dyes – Added to processed foods, studies show artificial dies are linked to hyperactivity in some children.
- Soy – a food allergen which may contain phytic acid which impairs nutrient absorption in the gut
Natural Food for the family menu
Unprocessed nutrient dense whole food made at home, Items you will find at the farmers market or the certified organic area in the grocery store:
Bone Broth – provides important amino acids and minerals
Organic Turkey and Chicken – contains tryptophan, an amino acid that helps produce serotonin. Important for brain development and mitochondrial function (12)
Foods high in probiotics – fermented foods help provide good bacterial in the stomach and intestines decreasing inflammation and aiding in nutrient absorption.
Omega -3 fatty acids critical to brain health
Green leafy vegetables
Important Natural Supplements to add to each meal for Autism
Fish oil – long chain omega -3 fatty acids – critical for brain function
- Salmon, trout, tuna -nutrient dense food
- meat and dairy products from organic grass-fed animals,
- flaxseeds, chia seeds, walnuts, organic soybeans, hemp seeds, spinach, Brussel sprouts
Digestive enzymes – help with absorption of vitamins and minerals in the intestines
Probiotics – maintain intestinal health and optimal balance of good and bad bacteria in the stomach and intestines fermented foods yogurt kimchi or sauerkraut
- Pineapple, papaya, bananas, avocado
- Miso, sauerkraut and kimchi
- bee pollen and raw honey
- apple cider vinegar, kefir and yogurt
Vitamin D3 – key vitamin required for healthy brain function, also important in pregnant mothers
- Salmon, tuna, grass fed Eggs
L-carnitine – an amino acid improves behavioral issues, aides energy metabolism and removes toxic compounds from cells
- lean cuts of grass-fed organic beef, pork, chicken and Atlantic Cod
- cheddar cheese, asparagus
Multi-vitamin with folate for pregnant women
Each individual will be different so it is important to work with a team, go slow and try specific strategies and food options one at a time. Keep a journal logging changes in food and changes in positive and negative in behavior, focus and energy levels. The journal will help compile important pieces of information for yourself and the team of loving experts working with you and your child towards the best nutritious goals and balanced diet.