Tips For Feeding An Autistic Child: Gluten-Free Casein-Free

Are you thinking of starting your autistic/pdd-nos child on a gluten-free, casein-free diet but are concerned over his or her picky eating habits? It is possible to overcome some of the eating problems with autism with a little perseverance and patience. Many parents have made the change to gluten-free casein free and are pleased with the results.

How Do I Begin?

Sit down and write out a list assessing the strengths and weaknesses of your child’s diet. Does he or she drink a lot of juice and refuse solid foods? Does your child love broccoli more than anyone you know? As simple as it sounds by examining your child’s eating more closely you may find it some details that have escaped your attention. It may be easiest to simply write out a list from day to day of the things your child eats the most.

Eliminating Appetite Killers: All of the calories in juice, milk or soft drinks can trick your child’s body into thinking it has had enough. Fruit snacks, pastries and other foods high in sugar can seem harmless, but makes it difficult to maintain consistent healthy eating habits and can become a habit forming distraction.

Simplifying Your Cooking: Many people say they are unsure if they could maintain a gluten free diet because almost everything in the grocery store contains wheat or milk ingredients. Constantly having to scan the ingredients list of all the items that you buy.

If you allow a shift in your thinking, the gluten-free diet casein free diet can be a freeing experience. It is possible to begin thinking about meal preparation in a new way. Building your meals around fresh, non processed foods you know your child will eat, adding new items one at a time.

Texture Issues: Many children with a sensory processing disorder such as Autism or PDD-NOS have sensitivity to the texture of foods. You may be able to make a sauce suitable for Emeril Lagasse himself, but find your picky child gagging at the sight. Plain dry foods may seem unappetizing to us, but you may find it is just the right thing for your child.

Do Not Force Foods: Some children on the autism spectrum have trouble chewing and swallowing their food. Some experts suggest that this is due to muscles of the mouth and throat not being strengthened properly through the normal process of language development. If your child is fearful or unsure about eating a food, forcing them to try something can create panic and tantrum behavior. Try introducing new foods slowly, allowing your child to become accustomed to new textures.

Nutritional Supplements: From personal experience I know how hard it can be to feed your picky eater balanced, nutritional meals on a daily basis. One of the main problems my family faced was getting our son to take a chewable or gummy vitamin, which he would not tolerate. We found that our child enjoyed the Emergen-C fizzing multiple vitamins which are available at Safeway, Target and on Amazon.

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colordelics 6 years ago

Thank you for the information, very interesting.

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