1. Go slowly. Avoid trying to force your child to give up all unhealthy foods at once.
2. When eliminating foods, eliminate one food at a time.
3. Don’t be afraid to sneak in vegetables into foods your child likes. For example, you can blend spinach into tomato sauce for pizza, or you can blend broccoli into cheese sauce for macaroni and cheese.
4. Try getting your child to drink fruits and veggies. You can make delicious juices and smoothies your child will love.
5. While too much gluten free breads, cookies and cakes are not the best choices, when first beginning a gluten free diet with your child, it’s better to start with them rather than create caos by not allowing them at all.
6. Pinterest and blogs can be life savers when it comes to finding healthy eating and recipes for your child with autism.
7. Don’t be afraid to use bribery and rewards to encourage your child to try new foods.
8. Involve your child with the cooking.
9. Show your child pictures of fruits and vegetables and ask him or her which ones he or she wants to eat.
10. When it comes to healthy eating for your child, you the parent are ultimately responsible. If your child is a brat who only wants fries or cookies, you created the problem whether you realize it or not.
11. Healthy eating or unhealthy eating with a child with autism can be at the root cause of allergies, asthma, digestive issues, behavior troubles and sleep issues plus much more.
12. You may not be able to do it all on your own so don’t be afraid to reach out to a health coach like me, a nutritionist or other professional for help.
13. If you fall off the wagon, don’t stress and just get back on.
14. Having the full support of the rest of your household including other children who aren’t on the autism spectrum is a must.
15. Taking the extra time to look for store specials and sales, find coupons and deals and exploring online options such as Amazon and Vitacost is worth the effort to same money on healthy foods and on gluten free and dairy free options.
16. Think simple. A one pot meal of sauted veggies and chicken can be a delicious and healthy option that is simple to prepare and serve.
17. Get a crock pot and rice cooker and learn how to use them.
18. Avoid having your child watch food commercials as much as possible.
19. Find other fun activities to do that don’t involve food.
20. Teach your child how to cook healthy meals so that he or she will know how to cook and will enjoy healthy cooking.
21. Realize that all children and adults have taste preferences. Once you know your child doesn’t like a certain vegetable, stop forcing him or her to eat it. That said, you need to make sure first that your child really doesn’t like it and that he or she has tried it at least a few times.
22. Plan ahead with a grocery shopping list and menu plan.
23. Having a costco and or sams club membership can be a life saver especially if there are more than 4 people in your household.
24. Plan ahead. Then plan ahead again. Seriously though planning ahead will save you a lot of time, money and headaches. It will also make it more likely that you stick with healthy eating with your child even when it’s hard.
25. Think about the big picture. Why are you doing this? What do you hope to accomplish with healthy eating for your child with autism?
Which tip is your favorite? Have any healthy eating for autism tips to share that I missed. Share them below in the comments.