Instituting a Gluten-Free, Casein-Free (GFCF) diet is the first step in treating your child. It is also probably the hardest thing you will be asked to do, yet studies show that the majority of kids respond favorably with potential improvements in eye contact, behavior, auditory processing, and other areas. I strongly recommend that the whole family make these changes so that the child does not feel singled out or punished. If parents use a systematic approach to researching the topic and then designing a two-week menu before going shopping, the transition goes much easier.
I have also found that it is much easier to simply eat different kinds of foods that are GFCF rather than trying to eat the same foods that are made of GFCF ingredients. For example, instead of having sandwiches try soups made from vegetables with beans/lentils and/or meat. Alternatively, instead of Italian foods that tend to be rich in gluten and dairy products, try Chinese stir-fry or Mexican foods that have many more GFCF options.
List of Healthy GFCF Food
Grains: Millet, quinoa (white and red), brown rice, buckwheat, amaranth, corn.
Pastas: Brown rice pasta, quinoa with corn pasta
Vegetables: Green beans, carrots, parsnips, winter squash - butternut, acorn, sweet potato, yam, zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbages, asparagus, artichoke, cucumber, celery, garlic, onion.
Leafy Vegetables: Green leafy veg - lettuces, spinach, chard, kale, collards.
Nightshades: Peppers, tomatoes, potatoes - red skin, eggplant.
Sprouts: Alfalfa sprouts, sunflower seed sprouts, daikon sprouts.
Legumes: Lentils, black beans, kidney, pinto, adzuki, dried beans.
Meat/Fish/Poultry: Egg, tilapia, petrale sole, chicken, turkey, chicken/turkey sausages, beef, buffalo.
Fruits/Nuts: Banana, orange, apple, lemon. avocado, berries, grapes, cherries, coconut, almonds, walnuts.
Asian Food: Chinese food with brown rice, Indian curry (be careful here as some sauces do contain gluten).
Links to additional articles and information on GFCF diets:
- AutismWeb - Wheat-free, milk-free diet for Autism and PDD
- TACA Talk About Curing Autism - Gluten-free, Casein-free (GFCF) Diet - GFCF On A Budget