The Gluten-Casein Free Diet For Autistic Children
By Anne-Marie Ronsen
Once you find out your child is Autistic you will then want to begin some type of treatment plan.
The Gluten-Casein Free Diet consists of removing any foods from your Autistic child’s diet that contain Gluten and Casein. This can seem hard at first because so many foods do have Gluten in them. Gluten is found in most prepared foods. Foods containing wheat, barley ,oats, or rye need to be eliminated from the diet. Gluten can also be found in some vinegars and sauces. Artificial flavorings often contain Gluten. Casein is a protein found in dairy products such as milk, cheese, yogurt, butter, and some hotdogs.
When using The Gluten-Casein Free Diet you have to be careful and read all labels on foods. Gluten can be in foods you would not think of, like spices. The theory behind removing Gluten and Casein from an Autistic child’s diet is that when the child eats a food with Gluten and Casein it causes their body to react differently than a child without Autism.
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The Gluten-Casein Free Diet can be expensive to follow. Most Gluten-Casein free products are sold in specialty, or health stores. These stores usually charge a much higher price. Some major grocery stores are now carrying Gluten-Casein free products. You can find Gluten free flour, pancake mix, waffles, cookies, snacks, and many other foods. Most parents find out it is cheaper to make their own Gluten free food. Recipes can be found on the internet, or in Gluten free cookbooks. Some parents go together with another family following The Gluten-Casein Free Diet and buy in bulk. Then they share the foods. This can help lower the costs of the Gluten-Casein free items.
Autistic children following a Gluten-Casein free diet can eat meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, nut, eggs, and products made with gluten free ingredients. It can be hard to keep a child from eating their favorite snacks, and treats. Some of these can be made by using Gluten-Casein free products. Muffins and cookies can be made from Gluten free flour. It just takes some getting used to the new way of eating.
Often people following a Gluten-Casein free diet will remove all dairy (Casein) products from their diet as well. You can find out if your Autistic child has an allergy to a certain food by having allergy testing done. The doctor can arrange for this testing.
If you are going to try The Gluten-Casein Free Diet with your child you have to be prepared to follow it for several months to tell if it is going to make any difference. Gluten remains in the body for a long time. Most people do not give the diet a long enough chance to work. Trying it for a week or two will not give the body enough time to remove any remaining Gluten from its system. Some people do however see improvements right away in their Autistic child.
If you choose to try a Casein (dairy) free diet with your Autistic child remember to allow enough time to see if the diet is helping. It can be helpful to keep a journal while trying the diet. Keep a record of behaviors your Autistic child has. Then you can see if the number of behaviors is dropping.
If you want to find more information about Gluten free dieting there are several books available. Visit your local library, or book store to find one. To find Gluten free recipes try searching online using your favorite search engine. The Gluten-Casein Free Diet will not work with every autistic child. The majority of the children that show improvement had a sensitivity to the gluten to begin with.
A Gluten-Casein Free Diet might be helpful in treating your child’s Autism. It is not a cure for Autism though. It will only help treat some of the symptoms.
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