Autism Diet’s: 5 Tips to make your transition EASY
I often get asked how do I continue to handle my son’s special diet challenges. About 8 years ago, I embarked on this journey to help my son with his autism in any way that I could. After deciding to seek answers from alternative medical practitioners, I was faced with the challenge of changing my child’s diet. I started with the basics since I didn’t know what I was doing or where to begin. I started by removing the top offenders for many autistic kids, gluten and dairy. When we saw how fast his behavior improved, I knew this was the path to take. Since then, my son has been on a clean diet and he has improved so much that I think all families should focus on nutrition. Food is the foundation of good health and if we don’t feed our kids proper nutrition, the body cannot function. I would like to share with you my list of the top 5 tips that can make this transition as easy as possible.
#1 Start Small
Starting a special diet for anyone can be difficult if we make it. For kids, it can be even harder to accomplish. It really depends on the age you decide to start a special diet. The younger the kid, I believe the easier it will be because they can only eat what you feed them. Start by taking out one bad food at a time. For example, if you are transitioning to a gluten and dairy free diet just pick one to start with. I would start with just taking out the dairy and replacing it with an alternative. Instead of the cow’s milk offer the alternative milk such as almond or coconut milk in the place. Believe it or not most kids will eventually love the alternative. You also want to take it slow, so you don’t get major withdrawal from your kid.
#2 Be prepared
Before transitioning, be prepared by having all the items you need to make it as smooth as possible. You want to have proper lunch boxes, snack containers, and beverage containers. When I first started transitioning my son, I did purchase the best containers to use for school lunches etc. I later learned that the containers do make a difference. I purchased a nice lunch box for him that all his classmates really rave over. It makes him so happy to hear the compliments and believe it or not he only wants to eat his lunch from his lunch box. All the teachers at his school have to look at his lunchbox daily and send me notes as to how healthy it is. I must say this also keeps me motivated to get creative. I will include what I use below but be prepared to take food whenever you are going away from home.
#3 Get Creative
For your kids to buy into a Special Diet, you need to get creative and try new things. Try to not let your imagination be limited. There are so many different recipes out there that will keep your child interested in eating the food you prepare and not want anything else. When I started this journey, I purchased several cookbooks that helped me to prepare healthy food in a short amount of time. I still reference these cookbooks today for different recipes. Another option is to use Pinterest to your advantage. They also have a lot of free recipes that you can use at any time. Yesterday, I just went into Pinterest and did a quick search for Paleo Banana Bread which returned an endless number or recipes. I will add some of my favorite cookbooks below.
#4 Ignore any Negativity
I want to forewarn you that there might be comments from people that could get you down but ignore the comments. I remember hearing comments like “poor little guy can’t eat anything” and people would ask me why. I always just refer to the fact that if he eats other people’s food, it will make him sick and keep him up at night. This was true for me but if it is not the case for you don’t feel that you need to justify to anyone.
#5 Know it will get easier
If you asked me about 6 years ago if I would be telling you this, I would have laughed. I often see people who start the special diets but then later say it just is too hard and give up. It hurts me to see this because we all need to center our health around proper Nutrition choices. I try to convince people that it does get easier and to push forward when possible. I get that sometimes it can take a little more time in the morning to make that lunch for your kids or to bring food when you go on trips but just look at it from another view. Your kids will always be fed the best food compared to others that rely on fast food and non-nutritious food. As time goes on, you will find shortcuts and healthy alternatives that fit right into your special diet. I would ask that you just don’t give up on your kids. Things will get easier as time goes on.
As we all know changing our habits can be difficult. Diet is no easier than anything else, you have to work towards it in order to have success. If you are just embarking into a special diet for your kid, I urge you to take the necessary steps to make it as stress free as possible. If you follow these tips, you can save yourself from wanting to give up. If you have a kid that is on the Spectrum and you are looking into alternatives, just remember that Diet is the key to success. If you don’t monitor what you feed your kids, you will limit their progress. Notice that I didn’t explain any particular diet in depth but in future post, I will go over a few that I have tried and what I currently have my son on.
Below you will find several resources you can use that I really enjoyed as I transitioned my son to a nutritious diet. I really enjoyed having a food journal so I could remember which foods were helping and hurting my son. I also used several cookbooks to find new creative foods to cook for him. You also will need to make sure you have containers to use for food that you might have to prepare ahead in case you are going on a trip or for school lunches.
If you are one of those parents looking for help in order to gain a better quality of life for your child sign up below for my free webinar “Four Steps to a Happy child on the Autism Spectrum”.
Resources to make your transition easier(Affiliate Links)