Friday, January 16, 2009

How to Place Your Autistic Child on the Gluten Free Diet

The gluten-free diet has gained in popularity since many parents have noticed changes in their child’s behavior and significant reductions in their symptoms. If you’ve been considering placing your child on the gluten-free diet, but you’re just not sure – this article will give you in-depth directions on how to do it! Here is some more information on how to place your autistic child on the gluten-free diet.

How to Get Started:

You will need to begin by finding some gluten-free recipes to cook for your family. Whether or not your entire family will go on the diet is up to you – some families feel as though it’s easier to create entire gluten-free meals rather than trying to prepare foods for only the autistic child. Look for gluten-free recipes online and check your local library or bookstore for gluten-free cook books. This will help you select meals you feel your family will enjoy which are free of gluten and still healthy.

Experiment a little with the different foods and allow your child to try them. Find out the likes and dislikes when it comes to gluten-free cooking. This is a trial-and-error process, so it’s up to you to make it work.

Where to Find Gluten-Free Foods:

You can find gluten-free foods in your local supermarket. However, there may only be a small selection. You can find even more by visiting your local health food store. There are gluten-free baking mixes, snacks and even entire meal ideas. Be sure to read the labels on the different foods you purchase from the grocery store. Gluten can often hide in some unlikely places – such as flavorings and spices. As you become accustomed to searching for gluten-free foods, it will be easier for you.

Things You Should Know about the Gluten-Free Diet:

It’s very important that you know what to expect with this kind of diet. Every sort of diet takes a little adjusting before its smooth sailing. However, if you plan on trying this diet, you need to try it for at least 3 to 4 months. While most people expect to see changes within a few weeks or a month, it takes longer on this diet to see results. While some families may write the diet off as unsuccessful, it could be that they haven’t given it time to actually work when they decide to quit.

So, try the diet for at least 3 months and determine whether it’s working or not. Also, you may want to keep a food journal – writing down what your child eats and what behaviors he or she has. This will help you identify whether or not the diet is making a difference with your child’s autism symptoms.

This is a great diet that has worked for many parents of autistic children. Give it a try and see how it works for you. Remember that it may take a little while to actually show results, but if it does – it will be well worth it. Good luck.

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