How should parents handle food dislikes and eating challenges found in children with autism? Their dislikes and repulsion towards their foodstuff are not only for the taste but also for their color, presentation, and texture. They may love to eat soft boiled eggs but hate them when poached. A visit to a dietician can resolve the issue if the parents adhere to their diet plan for autism.
For parents, cooking for children with autism is a daunting task. To get the best from the cooking experience, it is important for them to understand the following challenges faced by the kids:
- Sensory challenges
- Food aversions
Diet and Nutrition
A qualified dietician is a right person to discuss the inferences of a proper diet for the individual with autism. They provide guidance to ensure a diet plan for autism to safeguard nutritional adequacy and balance. Based on the health history, symptoms and test results of the child, the therapists create a personalized program that:
Children with autism are given prolonged courses of antibiotic drugs for gut infection or respiratory problems before they are diagnosed with autism. The prolonged use of antibiotics may be the reason behind their bowel irregularities. Probiotics and proper diet help to heal the digestive tract and restore the normal absorption to produce positive clinical results in autistic children.
Increasing Omega 3 Fat
Children with autism have an enzymatic deficiency that removes the essential fat from the brain membrane at a quick rate. To compensate for the loss, a high intake of omega 3 supplements are prescribed. This improves the behavior, mood, sleep patterns and focus in children with autism.
Gluten-Free And Casein-Free Diet For Autism Work
Children with autism absorb or reacts differently to peptides and proteins found in foods containing gluten and casein. The use of this diet reduces autism symptoms and improves their social and cognitive behaviors.
The following grains contain gluten:
- Graham flour
Casein is found in dairy products such as:
Parents must keep a diary to note down the food preference their children have. This can help the dietician to identify foodstuff to which they are sensitive.
Finding A Dietician
A registered and experienced dietician can:
- Confirm that the diet plan for autism contains all the needed nutrients
- Provide the best advice to help parents try new recipes that will please the child
- Give information on nutritional supplements
- Provide helpful tips or ways to reduce the mealtime stress
To get to the best nutritionists or dieticians working in your area, visit the Autism Connect site and click on: https://www.autismconnect.com/nutritionists-dieticians
Recipes For The Fussy Eaters
The menu of a child with autism depends upon his sensory acceptance for texture, color, taste, and temperature. If the child does not like his food to be hot, he/she may push away the plate even if he is their favorite dish. If parents are worried about the child’s food and nutritional intake, they must seek the help of a dietician or nutritionist. When preparing a meal, it is advisable to stir up a glutton and casein-free dish.
A banana And Avocado Smoothie
- One peeled banana (frozen)
- Half ripe avocado
- 1 to 2 tablespoon coconut butter
- 1 cup of water
Blend all the above ingredients in a mixer. Remove the smoothie into an attractive glass. Top it with strawberries or fruits loved by the child.
Cooking With A Child Having Autism
Helping the child with autism to cook and sharing the kitchen with him offers some great quality time and a lasting bond. Cooking their own meals helps the child eat even what they previously rejected. Parents can refer to a great book, ‘The ADHD and autism Nutritional supplement handbook: The cutting-edge biomedical approach to treating the underlying deficiencies and symptoms of ADHD and autism’, penned by the doctor-nutritionist team Pamela Compart and Dana Godbout Laake. The book tells ways on how to safely implement supplements and dietary changes to ease symptoms of autism in a child. Easily available on Kindle/Paperback, this is one of the ‘must-read’ books available on the Autism Connect site. To visit Autism Connect book collection: https://www.autismconnect.com/resources/books