Do you have a child on the autism spectrum who seems to only want to eat junk food? This is a common problem and one that does not have an easy solution. However, it is possible to transition your child on the autism spectrum to a healthy diet. Keep reading and let me share with you how you can make healthy eating for autism a reality.
- Have a clear reason why. Why do you want to have a child on the autism spectrum who eats healthy?
- Involve the entire family. While it is possible to put your spectrum child on a different diet from everyone else, it is a lot more difficult than just having everyone else eat the same way. That said, this will usually cause some resistance and challenges from your other children if you have any and from your spouse if you are married, so expect this to happen.
- Get support. Either hire a health coach like me, I’d be happy to help you, or find someone else who can serve as an accountability partner or be there to help you go through the process step by step.
- Start slowly. I can’t emphasis this enough. Healthy eating for autism is hard enough, don’t make it even harder by trying to take a chld who only eats pizza and chicken nuggets and making him or her only eat vegetables and rice for example.
- Pick and chose your battles. For example, you may have to decide that while you don’t want your child to have Mcdonalds chicken nuggets anymore, you may still allow him or her to eat some homemade ones or some ones that you buy at the groccery store that are healthier but still maybe not ideal.
- Exercise self control and will power as the parent. As the parent you have the most influence over your child’s healthy eating or lack thereof since you are the one who buys the food. Know that your child will probably get upset or have some meltdowns when you first start healthy eating for autism but it is up to you to stick to it.
- Involve your child with meal planning and even the cooking, if he or she is able.
- Know what your long term goal or goals are for healthy eating with autism and use these goals to motivate you when the going gets tough.
- Get sneeky. For example, you can put spinach, or other greens into all kinds of foods and your child won’t notice it is there. I’ve even seen cheerio like cereals that have greens added in the at health food stores before. There are ways to add greens into pizza sauce or smoothies. The possibilities are endless if you get creative.
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