Diets: The Good, The Bad and The Ineffective

Food has been a necessity since the dawn of man. Without it, we could not survive yet not enough people are cautious about what they put in their bodies or even their families. Our diets predict how we function, fuel our bodies and most importantly are a connection to society. But food that doesn’t supply the basic requirements of nutrients can leave a person feeling tired, frustrated or even hazy. So imagine how important a proper diet must be for a child on the spectrum. Various diets have been proposed to be a key factor in the health and nutrition of children with ASD, claiming that the kids react to diets differently depending on the levels of protein or vegetables in their diet. Of course much of it comes down to preference but what if there were diets that did help a child function more efficiently throughout the day? Then undoubtedly one would wish to provide their child with said diet.

Elimination Diets

Elimination diets target specific food groups or types of grain that may be problematic for longterm health. Included in this list are diets such as Gluten Free and dairy free. However, if the child is not allergic to gluten the benefit of this kind of diet may not show a substantially significant positive increase in their child’s sociality, digestion and concentration. A very important dietary elimination that can be made is sugar because of how drastically it can affect a child on the spectrum. Soy is also a popular elimination due to it’s blocking of digestion and the high number of people with allergies to soy products.

Organic & Probiotic Diets

Organic diets have been proven to be a healthier alternative to non-organic and hormone raised meats due to the fundamental fact that our food shouldn’t be laced with chemicals. Chemicals that can even further disrupt the body’s system and have bad long term effects. The saying, “we are what we what we eat”, comes to mind when I think genetically modified foods and how they have become the prevalent source in cereal and snack products. Probiotics are also a great addition to any diet and can be found in yogurts and different dairy products.

Implementing a special diet for any child is a difficult feat, implementing one for a child on the spectrum can be even harder but with knowledge of the best nutrition for your child and the colors of the food they enjoy, you can create a meal plan that both appeals to their senses as well as help them focus, gives them the fuel they need and doesn’t use a disturbance to their body’s function. The most important thing is to stay true to yourself and your child when making the decision to introduce a new diet. Food risks and intolerance to certain foods are on every parents mind but with substitutions, knowledge on where your food comes from and the ability  to make the switch, the benefits of diets can bring long term results in the development of a child.

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