Learn about the optimal food list for autism, what to eat and avoid. Find the best autism diet in this guide.
Foods naturally higher in vitamins and minerals are good for autism.
However, processed foods that have had many (or most) nutrients removed should be avoided.
Some foods can cause gastrointestinal issues in an autistic child.
Therefore, implementing a specialized diet in some cases, such as a gluten-free/casein-free or ketogenic diet may help the child feel healthier.
Keep reading to find a list of foods, meals, and snacks that are good for autism, as well as ones that are bad. Find the most optimal autism diet today.
A study found that the most common nutrient insufficiencies in autistic children were folic acid, fiber, calcium, iron, zinc, as well as vitamins A, C, D, E, B6, B12, and K.
Food preferences or obsessions cause some children to have too much of one or two of these nutrients.
Therefore, food avoidances mean that a large amount of autistic children aren’t getting enough of these vitamins and minerals.
This is why helping your child get the right balance of these foods and important nutrients is a crucial step in your child’s growth.
Try adding these foods to their diet with the help of a treatment team:
A lot of these foods offer a variety of nutrients, so combining them in thoughtfully different ways through meal planning can help your child get the high-quality nutrients they need.
Make sure to avoid foods that cause your child discomfort, and slowly add new foods to your child’s eating routine.
Finding a handful of good snacks for kids diagnosed with autism is important for all parents.
It will take some time and experimentation, but here are some suggestions that your child might like:
If a particular food results in negative behaviors or stomach issues, make sure your child stops eating it. Here are a few common foods that may cause issues in children on the spectrum:
It’s crucial you work with your child’s pediatrician and possible a nutritionist to identify the best foods for your child to eat regularly.
A behavior therapist can assist your family by devising a plan to help you introduce new foods to their diet in the most optimal way.
Eating a balanced and healthy breakfast means it has protein, fat, and fiber.
This will ensure your child stays full longer, and also prevents a spike in blood sugar (followed by a crash) that can disrupt their behavior. A few examples of breakfasts with protein, fat, and fiber include:
Ensuring your child eats a healthy and balanced lunch that will give them the nutrients their body needs is one of the responsibilities of a parent.
A balanced lunch needs to have protein, fat, and fiber to help keep blood sugars from spiking and crashing, keep your child feeling full until the next snack or meal, and feed the body with building blocks for lots of energy.
A few examples of healthy lunch foods are:
To ensure your child has the healthiest dinner that provides them the most nutrients possible, we have put together a list of meals and foods to definitely include:
Many kids with autism might have postural issues that interfere with eating.
For example, low muscle tone can make it challenging to maintain an upright seated position for autistic children.
Sensory aversions related to autism are another common reason for kids having eating problems.
Autism is not caused by food-related challenges or malnutrition, but for many individuals, there is a connection between food and autism.
Research suggests that food-related challenges can have a significant impact on many autistic individuals.
According to previously preliminary research studies, a diet without any milk and dairy products can be useful for some people with autism by reducing certain behaviors or symptoms that can negatively affect quality of life.
Yes, keeping chickens and a chicken coop have been praised as being therapeutic for individuals with autism.
People who own chickens and practice chicken therapy are getting those with autism involved in feeding and taking care of the chickens.
The therapy promotes self-help and independent living skills, and helps autistic individuals be more responsible.
Dietary supplements have been proven to be very helpful for autistic symptoms, through both diet changes and supplementation.
Improving diet and choosing specific supplements can help your child better manage their daily challenges.
In this section, we will cover in-depth the most common dietary supplements used by families with autistic children.
Note: Before beginning any type of supplement regimen for your child, it’s always important to consult with their pediatrician.
It may be best to take away sugar from your child’s diet to maintain balanced sugar levels, as children with autism can show signs of hyperactivity.
Monosodium glutamate (MSG) is similar to sugar but can cause overstimulation in the brain, thus leading to your child behaving hyperactive.
Here are nine strategies to try at home for helping your son or daughter become more comfortable eating a broader range of healthy food: