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Gluten-free/casein-free autism diet ideas

Maria Mora is a freelance writer and single mom fueled by coffee, questionable time management skills, toaster oven waffles and the color orange. She lives in Florida with her two young sons. If you see her on Twitter, tell her to stop p...

Fresh recipes for a special diet

Can autism be treated with a special diet? Scientific research isn't conclusive, but many parents swear by the results they’ve seen after eliminating gluten and casein. As long as you follow the advice of your child’s doctor and ensure that your child is getting the right nutrients and vitamins, it doesn’t hurt to give gluten-free/casein-free recipes recipes a try.
Pumpkin corn muffin

A new report from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that one in 88 kids has been diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder. With boys, the frequency may be as high as one in 54. Many parents turn to experimental autism treatments and autism diets. Research has not shown any one diet to treat autism, but individual accounts suggest that some parents have seen results. You know your child best and have the best chance of evaluating results one way or another.

Eliminate casein and gluten

The gluten-free/casein-free (GFCF) diet is one of the most popular autism diets. Whether or not a child has a casein or gluten allergy, parents often decide to eliminate those proteins entirely. The GFCF diet is a big commitment, especially for children who may already be picky eaters with a limited selection of favorite foods. Gluten is found in most grain products, such as bread, and casein is found in dairy as well as other products. It’s important to read labels carefully when embarking on the GFCF diet.

Avoid accidental exposure

Research ingredients carefully to avoid accidental exposure to gluten and casein. It can be difficult to find packaged foods that don’t contain traces of casein or gluten. Try making meals at home as often as possible with gluten-free/casein-free recipes and call ahead when dining out and ask if the restaurant offers GFCF menu items.

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Keep an open mind

Remember, the GFCF diet is considered an experimental therapy. If you try it, make careful note of your child’s progress. Always let your child’s doctor know you’re trying an elimination diet, and consider talking to a nutritionist about getting a balanced diet without foods that contain gluten or casein. To learn more about autism awareness, visit Where the Other Sock Went, a partnership between Autism Speaks and SheKnows.

Homemade potato chips recipe

Ingredients:

  • Medium or large potatoes
  • Salt (1/2 teaspoon per cup of potatoes)
  • Red pepper to taste

Find the directions here >>

Gluten-free pumpkin corn muffins recipe

Ingredients:

  • 3 large organic free-range eggs
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3/4 cup organic pumpkin
  • 3/4 cup organic light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon bourbon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup Bob's Red Mill Gluten-Free Cornmeal
  • 1 cup gluten-free pancake and baking mix
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Find the directions here >>

Honey roasted squash salad recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium yellow summer squash
  • 1 medium zucchini
  • 3 tablespoons honey
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Find the directions here >>

More on autism spectrum disorders

10 Things you should know about autism
Celebrities with autistic children
Best iPad apps for children with autism

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