Monday, April 2, 2012

10-Step Plan for Improving Nutrition & Feeding for Children with Autism

1)Transition to a healthy diet:
Avoid food additives, pesticides, refined sugars, processed foods, and trans fats

2)Get enough basic nutrients
Macronutrients: protein, carbohydrates, fat
Micronutrients: fat soluble vitamins, water soluble vitamins

3)Take a multivitamin and mineral supplement
Contains 100-300% RDA of fat soluble vitamins (A, D, E, K), vitamin B complex (B1, B2, B3,B5, B6, B12, folic acid, biotin), vitamin C, minerals (calcium, magnesium, zinc, selenium, manganese, chromium, molybdenum)

Avoid multivitamins that have artificial colors and flavors, potential allergens (wheat, milk, soy, egg, corn), and herbs

4)Increase Omega-3 fatty acid
By eating fish and other foods that contain Omega-3 and/or with a supplement
Recommended intake of EPA and DHA Omega-3 fatty acids:
1-3 years old: 390mg/day
4-6 years old: 540mg/day
7 years and older: 650mg/day

5)Improve feeding problems
Enroll in the feeding therapy program if:
Restricted repertoire of foods (less than 20 foods)
Foods lost from diet due to burnout, and foods not regained into the diet
Persistent refusal of novel foods
Refusal of entire food texture groups
Adds new foods only after greater than 25 exposures

6)Heal the gut
Signs of gastrointestinal (GI) disorder include abdominal pain, bloating, gaseousness, diarrhea, constipation, reflux, vomiting, food refusal, limited variety of foods, mealtime tantrums, irritability, self abuse, sleep disturbances
Treat by modifying the diet, eliminating problematic foods, and/or taking supplements, including probiotics, antifungals, digestive enzymes, therapeutic levels of Omega-3 fatty acids, and glutamine

7)Identify food allergies and implement treatment
Foods responsible for 90% of allergic reactions include milk, wheat, soy, egg, peanuts, tree nuts, fish, and shellfish

8)Try an elimination diet
Most popular is the Gluten Casein Free Diet (GFCF)

9)Try high dose vitamin B6 with magnesium
Recommended dosage:
8mg of B6 per pound of child's body weight
3-4mg of magnesium per pound of child's body weight

10)Consider additional supplements
To enhance immune system: dimethylglycine (DMG), iron, magnesium, selenium, zinc, vitamins A, C, D, and E
To enhance cognitive function: carnitine, choline, coenzyme Q10, iron, zinc, ginkgo biloba
To enhance detoxification system: alpha-lipoic acid, glutathione, N-acetylcysteine, selenium, trimethylglycine (TMG), vitamin C, milk thistle

-Elizabeth Strickland

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