Diet changes for autistic kids

11:00 PM, Jun 7, 2009   |    comments
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St. Petersburg, Florida--Can cutting back on wheat, dairy and processed foods help autistic children?

A Certified Nutrition Consultant who specializes in autism, says diet changes can make a difference.

A local Tampa pediatrician, Dr. David Berger also advises his patients with autism change their diet.

In fact, Julie Matthews says it's rare not to see diet improvements help in some way. Matthews says an increasing body of autism research supports the need for dietary intervention, including a recent report from the National Institutes of Health.

This contradicts Mayo Clinic nutritionists, who discourage families from trying special diets because there are no scientific studies showing these time consuming diet plans work.

Matthews suggests parents at least give the plan a try to see if they notice a difference.

She recommends cutting out gluten and casein (wheat & dairy) because she says these foods are known to affect a brain response that can lead to foggy thinking and food cravings.

Next she suggests introducing foods that are easy to digest (millet bread), rich in good bacteria (yogurt) and packed with nutrients such as pureed veggies hidden in meatballs. She also suggests supplements such as cod liver oil, probiotics B6, magnesium and zinc.

You can learn more about gluten free living at your local health food store. Many sell gluten free bread, pasta and other products that can be substituted.

Julie Matthews is the author of Nourishing Hope.

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