GLUTEN-FREE, CASEIN-FREE, & SOY-FREE (GFCFSF) DIET
Target group: Children with autism spectrum disorders
We’ve all heard the saying “garbage in, garbage out” this is especially important with children with autism. Feeding your special needs child a healthy, allergy-free diet helps with therapy results and behavior.
What is GFCFSF? Gluten is more than just wheat – it’s grains like wheat, barley, oats and rye.
Casein is the protein found in all things dairy – more specifically, anything juiced from a mammal – including cow’s milk, sheep, goat and human breast milk.
Soy needs to be removed too.
Labels that say “wheat-free” do not necessarily mean gluten-free and certainly not GFCF. Dairy-free isn’t casein-free. Lactose is milk sugar. Lactose-free isn’t casein-free either. Organic doesn’t mean GFCF. Organic milk still comes from a cow and organic wheat is still wheat. Reading labels and understanding the difference is crucial. Gluten-free also includes things that do not have gluten in them but are either grown near them or processed in a facility with them, contaminating them, such as millet and oats.
1. Improve digestion (autistic children commonly have bowel irregularities) 2. Balance blood sugar (so for autistic children who show signs of hyperactivity, improving blood sugar balance is a must) 3. Avoid foods and chemicals that often reach the brain via the bloodstream and removal of foods containing gluten, casein, soya from the diet (GFCFSF) 4. Increase omega 3 fats (autistic children have an enzymatic defect that removes essential fats from brain cell membranes more quickly than it should) 5. Increase vitamins and minerals (vitamin B6, C, magnesium) from natural resource and calcium supplementation
Hints for Diet Success:
The first few weeks can be hard on both the child and the parents.
This diet, for the first month or two, will make you crazy. This will pass however, and it will become second nature in your life. Everywhere you will travel with your child in tow, you will have a small cooler with all of the foods you need. (We even call ahead to restaurants and present the pre-prepared food to the restaurant manager to heat up and serve with our meals! Even attending family functions is a breeze. This all includes careful instructions to wash hands and to not mix with any other restaurant foods.)
It will make your child healthier than ever before and will not hurt your child. You cannot lose!
Believe in success. Know that research shows that 91% of ASD kids improve on the GFCFSF diet. The diet will only make your child healthier, and healthy is the goal after all. Diet can b