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Sometimes when the child has a disease or disorder, a balanced diet does not mean the same as a healthy child.
Just as research in the field of epilepsy suggests that limiting carbohydrates and increasing fat can improve symptoms, on other occasions, such as autism or hyperactivity, other modifications may be necessary to achieve the desired effect.
Any change in the children's diet of a child with autism should be monitored and controlled by a qualified professional, as they can have side effects, especially while finding the most appropriate one, and even more so if they are not specifically adapted to the child.
The dietary treatment of autism has been investigated for more than 50 years, but there are still many professionals who turn a deaf ear to benefits that a change in the diet of the autistic child can bring.
Usually, a diet free of gluten and casein (milk protein) is often helpful for these children with autism, although to observe relevant results this must be strict and followed for at least 3 months.
This diet is not easy to follow, since both compounds must be completely avoided, not only in food but also in the environment, but since the 1980s there are numerous studies that support this restriction, which is tremendously beneficial on a neurological level, especially in those children within the spectrum that manifest gastrointestinal symptoms.
Without making big dietary modifications, however, we can help our child with small changes:
- Avoid sugar. There is enough scientific evidence to ensure that sugar consumption affects the behavior of children, so if it is eliminated from the diet, variations in their behavior can decrease drastically. Special occasions like birthdays or family celebrations can be tricky, but less so if both parents and child are prepared. Nobody likes to be pointed at, so an alternative may be to bring a homemade cake according to your child's needs or carry an emergency snack in the bag.
- Keep a detailed diary of the food your child eats and their behavior. If you notice a change, you can check the diary to see if there have been any changes or the child has eaten something out of the ordinary. It should be remembered that some reactions are not immediate, so it is useful to review the 72 hours prior to the reaction to find the cause. The diary can also be used to determine which foods are safe for the little one, since each child is different.
- Maintain a strict hygiene routine. Any trace of compound that causes reactions in the child is easily ingested if it is on your hands, so the more you wash your hands, the easier it is to get them under control.
You can read more articles similar to Feeding in a child with autism, in the Infant Nutrition On-Site category.