How to Follow the Autism ADHD Diet on a Budget

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Have you ever considered following the autism adhd diet? Otherwise known as the gluten free casein free diet with your child? If so you are probably aware of the challenges it can be to follow the autism adhd diet on a budget as it can get expensive if you aren’t careful. Personally I was on this diet for a few years as a child, and now I’ve been on it again as an adult for the past 2 years. While it’s true that following the autism adhd diet on a budget can be challenging, I know it can be done. Here are some tips to help you avoid breaking the bank, while on this diet.

1. Plan ahead and then plan ahead again. I have a kindle ebook that I have put together that can help you. Advance preparation is a must for making the autism adhd diet work for you while on a budget. If you fail to plan, then you will plan to fail not only in sticking with it, but you also will overspend. Spending a lot of money while on this diet is usually because you didn’t prepare, and ended up overspending on fast food or other quick food items.

2. Cook most if not all of your food yourself. Packaged food that is gluten free and casein free and therefore, okay with this diet, costs at least double if not triple the cost of food that you make at home.

3. Buy gluten free grains, nuts and seeds and anything else you can in bulk. This will save you a lot of money.

4. Take advantage of store sales. Many stores have sales where you can buy canned goods, or gluten free items, or other things on sale for 1-2 weeks. Usually these sales only happen 1-2 times per year so you need to plan in advance and budget for when these sales happen.

5. Grow your own garden so that you can get plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Since fruits and vegetables should be the foundation of the autism adhd diet on a budget anyway. If you can’t have a garden at your house, see if you can participate in a community garden, or grow a garden indoors. You can use boxes, pots and more. See my post How to pretty up your space with a healing herb garden.

6. Invest in some quality spices when they are on sale. Spices last a long time and can help add flavor without a lot of cost.

7. Take advantage of discount stores like Aldi, Sprouts and Winco if you have them in your area. Sometimes target and walmart can have inexpensive and high quality food as well.

What if your biggest challenge when it comes to following the autism adhd diet on a budget? Let me know and I’ll do my best to answer your questions.

10 Common Autism Diet Problems and How to Avoid Them

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Have you tried to put your child with autism on a diet and then soon realized that you encountered one of these common autism diet problems?

Let me explain to you what these common autism diet problems are and you can avoid them and solve them quickly if and when they do occur.

1. Your child won’t eat the food you cook. This is hands down the number one most frequent autism diet problem I hear about. While this can be a problem from time to time for all children even those who aren’t on the autism spectrum, the best way to avoid this happening frequently is to involve your child with the cooking and shopping. Let your child help you chose your meals, from those foods you select and approve ahead of time and let him or her help you cook, if he or she is able.

2. Other children in your family complain. This is a tough one as it’s always hard on the rest of the family when a child has to follow a special diet. Involving the other children in meal prep and shopping can solve this some of the time. The rest of the time, you may need to have a conversation with the other children to find out why they are complaining.

3. Your food bill doubles in cost. This is one of the main reasons many parents of a child with autism are hesitant to even try an autism diet, yet this doesn’t need to happen. See my other blog post. How to Make Kid Pleasing Gluten free and Dairy Free Meals Without Breaking the Bank for tips and ideas on how to implement a special diet for your child without this happening.

4. One or more of your family members doesn’t support your efforts. This is again another common autism diet problem but yet it’s not unsolvable. The main thing in this case, is that you need to take action to gain support. In most cases, a lack of support for a special diet is caused by a failure to understand the why behind it.

5. You are confused about which autism diet to try. There is so much information on the internet and in books on autism diets, that this is completely understandable. See my other post How to Create and Follow an Autism Diet for some tips.

6. You get tired of eating the same things over and over. While this can become an issue, in my opinion it is one of the easiest autism diet problems to solve. Your child probably has some favorite foods that he or she really likes and if you feel like you are always eating them, you can find ways to mix things up and avoid getting tired of the same foods. I personally have found pinterest to be an invaluable resource for this.

7. You aren’t sure which food your child has a reaction to. This is a tough one and the best way to solve this is to do an elimination diet. I offer coaching and training on how to do this. You can also read this post. How to Successfully Do a Food Sensitivity Elimination Diet

8. Your child has other allergies. This is tough but again it’s not unsolvable. The main way to deal with this is to figure out which food or foods are the worst for him or her and over time remove things from the diet.

9. Traveling while following an autism diet is a pain. Yes and it always will be to one degree or another. However, with advance planning and preparation, you can lessen the pain. The best way to solve this one is to prepare and bring some of your own food with you. You also will want to book hotels with a kitchen as much as possible.

10. It takes you forever to cook and you feel like you live in the kitchen. Believe it or not, this is the easiest one to solve in my opinion. Learn how to cook simple healthy meals rather than meals that take a long time, have more than 10 ingredients and require things you’ve never cooked before in your life. I strive to solve this with my simple healthy eating guide.

Does the Gluten Free Casein Free Diet Work For Children with Autism?

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Does the gluten free casein free diet work for children with autism? The reality is that the answer to this question is much more complicated than just a simple yes or no. Watch my video below and learn more about it.

Document with research on autism diets and treatments

My Kindle Book on How to Implement a gluten free casein free diet

Need more detailed help? Check out my Healthy Eating for Children with Autism Online Course

How to Create a Simple and Healthy Autism Diet Menu

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Are you wanting to put your child with autism on an autism diet, yet you are overwhelmed and wanting to keep your child eating healthy at the same time? If so you are not alone. Whether you are following the GFCF autism diet, or just working on feeding your child with autism a healthy diet, or maybe your child with autism has other food allergies and you need to avoid other foods, these tips can help you learn how to create a simple and healthy autism diet menu.

1. Create a list of foods that will form the basis of your healthy autism diet menu. Include plenty of fruits and vegetables and get feedback from your child if he or she is able to give it to you about what foods he or she likes to eat. Add to your list any foods that you have served on a regular basis that are healthy and that you have noticed that your child enjoys eating.

2. Do research to find simple and healthy meals that use the ingredients on your shopping list. Pinterest is one of my favorite places to find these recipes. You can also use a few websites such as Yummly and All Recipes.

3. Make up your own recipes. For me I like to use the following simple formula for creating simple and healthy and autism diet friendly recipes. 1-2 green vegetables, 1 meat, 1 grain or starch like potato or sweet potato. I also really like crockpot soups and stir fry recipes. My favorite kind of stir fry includes 3-6 vegetables and chicken, salmon, or shrimp sautéed in olive oil or coconut oil. You can also serve with a small amount of rice or quinoa.

4. I like to use this list of spices to help add flavor to my meals. 5 Fat Free and Allergy Free Spices that Add a Lot of Flavor

5. Check grocery store ads and specials to determine which foods are on sale for the week and save money by focusing the majority of your autism diet menu around meals that include those foods.

Need more detailed help? Check out my Healthy Eating for Children with Autism Online Course

5 Terrific Tips to Minimize Picky Eating With Children With Autism

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Do you struggle with a child with autism who is also a picky eater? This is a common problem yet it can be easier to solve than you might think. Here are 5 terrific tips to minimize picky eating with children with autism:

1. Figure out why your child is being picky. Does your child really not like the foods you are serving? Or is its the way those foods are prepared, cooked or served? Once you have figured this out, make an inventory list of all the foods that your child does like to eat.

2. Involve your child with autism in cooking, and meal preparation. Children are able to help more than you might think, and many of them actually enjoy helping. It can be something as simple as opening a can, or learning how to chop vegetables (if you aren’t worried about your child and a knife), or even defrosting chicken in the microwave.

3. Consider growing a garden. Studies have proven that children who have a garden are a lot more likely to eat and to ask for vegetables and fruits than those who do not. If you don’t have yard space, you can try container gardening, or finding a community garden where you can have a small plot.

4. Show your child pictures of foods that he or she can choose from when preparing a meal. This helps your child to feel involved with meals and he or she is a lot more likely to eat foods that he or she has chosen.

5. If there are certain foods you don’t want your child to have, then don’t keep them in the house period. It may be hard because you, your spouse or another child may want to eat them but it’s crucial to improving the diet and health of your child with autism.

Need more detailed help? Check out my Healthy Eating for Children with Autism Online Course

Can the paleo diet cure autism?

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What about the paleo diet and autism? Listen in as I talk about this controversy and give me 2 cents about the paleo diet and autism.

Celebrity chef claims paleo diet can prevent autism

Need more detailed help? Check out my Healthy Eating for Children with Autism Online Course

7 Steps to Successfully Putting Your Child with an Autism Spectrum Disorder on a Gluten Free Diet

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Are you thinking about trying a gluten free diet with your child who has an autism spectrum disorder? A gluten free diet for autism is very popular and for many reasons. There have been several studies done which show that many more children on the autism spectrum are gluten sensitive and or have celiac disease than the average population. See Healing the New Childhood Epidemics Autism, ADHD, Asthma and Allergies: The Groundbreaking Program for the 4-A disorders for one such study which showed that 65% of children on the autism spectrum improve when they eat a gluten free diet. There have also been other books that have been published more recently that talk about the connections between grains and your brain. This has to do with autism but also with other auto-immune diseases and other brain disorders as well.

So how do you actually implement a gluten free diet for autism? This can be challenging but it can be done. I remember when my mom put me on this diet as a child around age 6 and it was hard at first but I did it. Now I regret eating gluten again and I wish I had stayed off it forever.

Here are 7 steps to actually getting your child to follow a gluten free diet for autism without tearing your hair out.

1. Be committed to making it happen. Do what it takes. Get commitment from your spouse if you have one, or from anyone else who lives in your household. If you have other children, you will need to explain to them what is going on to the extent possible.

2. If your child is old enough and has enough understanding to know what is going on, explain it to him or her as well. Make sure you tell your child the reasons why you are doing this gluten free for autism diet.

3. Get prepared. Gather enough gluten free recipes to be able to make a variety of delicious meals that your child will want to eat for at least 2 months. Keep adding to your collection on a regular basis. Avoid recipes that involve a lot of complicated instructions or too many ingredients. This is one of the reasons that my free 30 days of gluten free and dairy free recipes offer that you can opt-in for below or at the top of this page, has the recipes that it does. Yes I do sometimes cook things that are more complicated but the gluten free diet is much easier when you have simple recipes to follow. You also need to stock up on things that you will use a lot of such as gluten free oats, millet, quinoa, olive oil, coconut oil and various spices.

4. Eliminate as many of the foods with gluten in them from your home as possible. Ideally you want to get rid of everything, but depending upon who is in your household and their dietary needs and cooperation, you may have to keep some of it around and out of sight from your child.

5. Take inventory of how much food with gluten your child has been eating. If it is a lot, you may need to transition to this diet gradually by eating for example, one gluten free meal per day rather than doing it all at once. If you already don’t eat a lot of gluten, then you may be able to do it cold turkey. One fairly simple thing that you can do is to replace any pasta and bread you have been eating with the gluten free versions. Over time you will want to eat fewer grains and carbs and eat more fruits and vegetables but in the beginning you may have to focus more on gluten free and less on eating for optimum health.

6. Involve your child in planning your meals. Ask your child to chose what he or she wants to eat from pictures of foods. This helps reduce picky eating and makes it more likely that your child will eat what you have prepared.

7. Keep plenty of snack foods on hand for munching. Great gluten free options include: apple slices, apple sauce, gluten free crackers, fruit snacks (organic ones are better), peanut butter with celery or rice crackers, dates, packs of nuts etc.

Need help? I offer a free consultation to talk with you about how my heath coaching programs can help you make this work for you and your child.

Need more detailed help? Check out my Healthy Eating for Children with Autism Online Course

How to Create and Follow an Autism Diet

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Following an autism diet can really help in managing and reducing the challenges of a person with an autism spectrum disorder. However, it can be challenging to actulally create and follow an autism diet. Here are some tips on how it make it work for you and for any children you are working with:

1. Decide what kind of autism diet you are going to follow. While gluten free and casien free is the most common, it’s not the only autism diet there is. If you aren’t sure, I recommend starting with gluten free and then making changes from there.

2. Get everyone in your household on board. If possible you will need to have everyone in your household follow the same autism diet even if they don’t need to be on it, or at least avoid having the foods that are not on the diet in your house. Keeping the foods your child cannot eat in the house is a recipe for failure in most cases. I remember when I was younger and I had to go gluten free and dairy free and my mom somehow managed to let my siblings still eat gluten and dairy but I’m sure it had to be hard.

3. Make sure to include foods that your child enjoys eating as a part of your autism diet plan. Even those on the strictest diets have foods that they enjoy and that they can eat.

4. Find ways of making eating fun and of letting your child choose what to eat. The Eating Game is a great product that can help you with this.

5. Find unique ways to getting your child to eat the foods he or she needs to eat. Examples include smoothies, casseroles with added veggies, waffles or pancakes with added ingredients etc.

6. Commit to sticking with it over the long term. Following an autism diet isn’t easy but it is worth it.

Need more detailed help? Check out my Healthy Eating for Children with Autism Online Course