A few weeks back, I discussed how gluten can cause behavioral disorders in children who are incapable of digesting it. Many parents have also found that removing Gluten from their Autistic child’s diet has been very beneficial. The same goes for Casein (dairy).
How does one go about removing this from a child’s diet? It’s unfortunately not as simple as cutting out just bread and milk. Carol Ann Brannon, who focuses on specialized diets for Autistic children notes that gluten can not only be consumed via food, but also through the skin:
- “Gluten is found in wheat, rye, barley, oats, spelt, and any derivatives of these grains, including, but not limited to malt grain-starches, malt wash, hydrolyzed vegetable/plant proteins, grain vinegar, soy sauce, and natural flavorings. Casein is found in milk and milk products from mammals….Gluten is in even in Play-Doh, adhesive on stamps and stickers, and many hygiene products. Soy, another common food allergen, is in many foods and hand lotions, make-up, etc.”
Starting the diet is always the toughest part. Should you go cold-turkey; cutting out all bread and dairy products all at once? Or should you slowly omit these foods from your child’s diet? Some parents choose to completely cut out all Gluten and Casein all at once. It is also common that parents and other non-autistic children in the family will feel the benefits of the diet as well. Other parents choose to cut the gluten out of their diets first, and then move on the milk products.
If your child is on the GFCF (Gluten-Free Casein-Free) diet, what CAN they eat? It seems that living without bread and milk takes the majority of food choices away.
“Children can eat a wide variety of meat, chicken, eggs, fruits, and vegetables -– anything that does not contain wheat gluten or casein. It is generally recommended that organic, whole GFCF foods be consumed whenever possible.”