When the first day of school rolls around, won’t it be great if you can look back on some success? Or look back on lessons learned? Summer is a great time to try something new. But let’s start small. One thing you can try is the GFCF Diet for your child with autism. Why? You can read about lots of reasons throughout the TACA website.
Mainly, it could help your child. Diet research on the GFCF Diet showed 65% of children with autism improved.¹ That’s usually a good enough reason for most families to try it. Before you go through your house and eliminate every crumb of gluten or every spread of dairy, how about starting with what your child drinks? This can be one small change you make in order to improve your child’s nutrition.
Tips and Tricks to Conquer this challenge:
Make water the drink of choice. How?
Start diluting juice with water.
Save milk for cereal and cooking.
Do two things with milk:
#1 – use it as an ingredient (not a beverage)
#2 – change it to a nondairy milk such as almond, coconut, cashew, rice.
Many kids with autism have gastrointestinal issues which can be made worse with dairy consumption.
What about soy? Remember what we listed in the first section above? Research on the GFCF Diet showed 65% of children with autism improved. Additionally, research on the GFCFSF (including Soy-free) Diet showed 91% improved.² These odds are too good to ignore.
Need to jazz up the water?
- Make a big deal out of ice cubes. Have your child help make them.
- Add straws
- Get a new cup
- Call the water something different when it’s in the cup: “Princess water” “Strong water”
- Add frozen berries
- When you dilute juice with water, add ice and blend it all for a slushy drink. Use a spoon or a straw.
- Make it a contest to drink the whole glass. Or “drink your water before dad”.
A few Bonus thoughts:
- Be an example by drinking water yourself. Comment often about how thirsty you are and how good the water tastes.
- Does your child have a favorite character? Donald Duck LOVES drinking water.
- Does your child like sports? Water is of great importance for athletes.
- Older child? Make it easy for her to get her own water.
- If juice must stay in your house, make it a point that the full glass of water comes first.
TACA’s Summertime Series will include more ideas to get your child completely following the GFCF (and SF) diet. Before you get started, take the Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist (ATEC). This will help you gauge your child’s progress after the diet is implemented. The Autism Treatment Evaluation Checklist
Fill that glass of water and drink up!
References and Links:
1- Understanding the GFCFSF Diet for Children with Autism
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