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Last updated on March 23rd, 2023 at 04:09 pm

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Nutrition is an important piece of the puzzle in autism

Nutrition plays an essential role in the health and development of all children, but it is especially important for autistic children.

Proper nutrition can help reduce symptoms of autism, improve overall physical health, and support cognitive development.

While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to nutrition for autistic individuals, research has shown that certain dietary changes may be beneficial.

From nutrient-dense whole foods to supplements tailored to individual needs, nutrition can provide a powerful tool in managing autism symptoms and improving the overall quality of life for autistic individuals.

#1 Nutrition affects behavior

Many children on the autism spectrum have some form of behavior issues.  Not all children but many of them have aggressive behaviors.  This can be directly related to nutrition. 

Kids that are eating foods that are processed food that have no nutritional value oftentimes have behavior issues because these foods can and will cause them to act out. 

These kids often crave sugary foods that include artificial flavors and coloring.  All of these foods can negatively affect behavior. 

Nutrition has a powerful influence on the behavior of children. Research indicates that proper nutrition may be able to positively impact behaviors related to attention, focus, communication, sensory processing, and social interaction in autistic children.

Therefore providing your child with a highly nutrient-rich diet can pay off in the future.

#2 Nutrition affects attention and focus

My number-two reason why nutrition is an important piece of the puzzle is that it directly affects attention and focus. If your child is on a diet that has no nutritional value it can directly affect how much they are able to focus in different settings. 

They are not able to focus on therapies, at home, or in any other school setting because of poor nutrition.  Feeding your child a diet that is highly nutritious will help them focus and their attention in any setting.  A nutritious diet rich in essential vitamins, minerals, proteins, and healthy fats is necessary for optimal brain development and functioning.

For example, consuming foods high in omega-3 fatty acids such as salmon or flaxseed oil has been linked to improved concentration levels while avoiding processed foods containing additives like artificial colors or flavorings has been associated with reduced hyperactivity levels. 

#3 Nutrition affects sleep

My third reason why nutrition is an important piece of the puzzle is that it can directly affect sleep.  Many children on the autism spectrum lack sleep,  they just don’t sleep well. 

One reason for this could be the food they are consuming.  If your child has poor nutrition, it could be causing them discomfort and pain that directly affects their sleep.

Good nutrition is essential for overall health and well-being, including good sleep quality. Proper nutrition can help to improve the quality of sleep in both adults and children, particularly those with autism spectrum disorders (ASD).

Eating a nutrient-rich diet that includes whole foods as well as supplements tailored to individual needs may be able to positively impact behaviors related to sleeping patterns in autistic individuals. From promoting healthy circadian rhythms to providing necessary vitamins and minerals for restful slumber, proper nutrition can play an important role in ensuring a good night’s rest. 

#4 Nutrition affects the gastrointestinal system

My fourth and final reason why nutrition is an important piece of the puzzle is because of gastrointestinal issues. It is said that 90% of children on the autism spectrum have some form of gastrointestinal problems whether it be constipation diarrhea, upset stomach, and nausea. 

Implementing a more nutritious approach will help to ease their stomach pain.  Many children on the spectrum have what is called a leaky gut, which is when food particles are able to leak through the intestinal wall into the bloodstream causing a host of symptoms.  Focusing on nutrition can help with this. 

I believe that feeding your toddler a more nutrient-rich diet will provide a better quality of life for them and the whole family.  

I’ve created a free training Autism Hope: 5-Step process helping your child with autism thrive.  This free course is designed to give insight into why it is important to understand the autism diagnosis, what you can do to help their child with autism, and how they can get started understanding the changes that need to be made.

Related Resource

Autism Detox: 10 natural detox for kids 

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