Autism and Whole 30


Sunkitty

Recommended Posts

I have 4 kids, two of which have autism.  This makes it super difficult to change ANYTHING.  Previous to Whole 30; they ate cheese pizza, cheese sandwiches, PB&J, Pancakes, applesauce and bananas and candy.  My boyfriend and oldest child are doing whole 30 strictly.  With them I don't knpow what to do...I started by cutting gluten and dairy.  Both have shown improvements, in fact my 4 year old who is classically autistic is now talking more and is more connected, he even wanted me to snuggle with him!  They both would eat applesauce all day if I let them.  Fruit is a major thing for both of them.  Oh, they will eat plain scambled eggs.

 

What do I do?  Sneak veggies into Paleo-fyied food?  Let them eat fruit all day?  Should I not make them do whole 30?  Anyone with any experience with autistic kids or even very picky eaters?  I feel like they are straving all day.  :(  I am a sad mama.

 

 

 

(Side note, I am about 2 weeks in and feel great!  But I can't eat sweet potatoes, they make me sluggish and are WAY too much like food without brakes!)

Link to post
Share on other sites

My son is a very picky eater. Not only with types of food, but texture, color, shape and tempuature are all major factors as to what he will eat at any given meal. I have never attempted a W30 with him but rather have made baby steps for his health. I think since you have already cut out dairy and gluten you are defiantly improving their health. I don't see any harm in paleofyed baked goods that contain veggies for children. Same with smoothies, for kids go for it. My son will eat squeeze pouches of veggies and fruit, occasionally wil eat kale chips and pumpkin pancakes/muffins etc. that's about it for veggies! I think just keep trying and making small steps at a time is ok.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Whatever good food you can get them to eat is a win :) Don't stress too much about compliance, just experiment and see what works.

Things they might like: SWYPO but compliant ingredients - banana bread, coconut pancakes, coconut oil candy, fruit butters, cauliflower pizza, nut butter fudge (lots of different nuts!), sweet potato or zucchini hash browns, plantain chips. Veggie fries. Chicken salad with mayo, salmon patties with mayo.

Picky eaters often don't like things being taken away (scary changes!), so maybe add some new foods in without taking anything away at first. All the picky eaters I know are very fussy about texture and sometimes colour, tumeric adds a lot of colour but messy eaten with hands :)

If they love applesauce it could be the texture, maybe experiment with some of the babyfood puree recipes, especially ones with meat, fat and veggies. Avocado or guacamole might be good too. There's lots of other fruit butters too, strawberry, blueberry, fig (has seeds, which they might not like - strain it?).

Link to post
Share on other sites

I think any positive changes you can make to their diet will be massively beneficial. A big change may not suit them, but gradually incorporating more whole 30 style foods may work.

Swapping their "normal" foods for compliant versions may make the transition easier, and as their tastes change you may be able to use these less. The posts above have some great suggestions. I might suggest trying to get them in to more vegies than fruit - perhaps start with the sweeter vegies? Sweet potato, butternut, baby carrots, red peppers etc?

It must be exciting to see improvements in your little ones, and you're doing a great job with them. Don't stress that they aren't doing a whole 30! You need to do what works for them and you.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I don't have anything really substantial to add, except that I really admire and applaud your effort to change your autistic children's diet.  I have a mildly autistic nephew and my in-laws feed the kid complete crap because they claim he will actually starve himself rather than give up McDonald's.  My husband, who has some professional interests in the microbiota/probiotics link to autoimmune diseases, has tried to talk to his sister about the connection between diet and autism but she doesn't listen to him.  Great job, taking this step!  Please keep us updated on your progress.

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 months later...

I know I'm late to the party here but I thought I'd chime in in case someone else is looking or in case you are still struggling.

 

I also have children with autism and sensory integration disorder. My 4 year old daughter has been known to throw up in her plate at the sight of a food she doesn't like.

 

We have been doing an incredibly slow transition for both of them. It took us a year to get DD to eat baby carrots, she still won't eat them cooked, or if they've touched another food, or dip them in anything but she'll eat them. It also took a year to switch from conventional bacon to nitrite and sugar free bacon.

 

We have found that SWYPO foods don't work. It's the real deal or nothing so we've slowly started phasing out the real deal. PBJ with a specific brand of bread every day - 6 days a week - 5 days a week ... we're down to 1 or 2 a week now and only on days when I am willing to make homemade bread.

 

We are in this for the long haul and it can feel like a 2 steps forward 1 step back process but it's worth it. When my 8 year old ASD son is feeling anxious he binge eats, I've had a shower before and come out to find that he's eaten 12 granola bars in 15 minutes. So now there are no granola bars in the house (or fruit leathers).

 

Hang in there, it's worth it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree, hang in there.  My kids have fetal alcohol syndrome and severe adhd to the point that my husband has discussed disrupting the adoption.  I did my first whole30 in September and it was a living he** trying to incorporate Paleo into their diets.  Four months later, it is a lot easier.  I agree with everyone's advice that they don't have to be whole30 compliant, but trying for Paleo compliant I think is worthwhile.  Especially with the stories of autistic kids coming out of their fog after extreme diet changes. 

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

I have a 13 year old with autism, and we are just getting started, so we're trying to decide how to proceed. I totally know how Poppi feels - we've found jars of peanut butter, honey bears, all sorts of stuff hidden in his room that he scarfs. How he's so skinny is beyond me! I'm looking for a way to clean up his eating while we do this without him going into full on meltdown mode. I don't expect him to complete a Whole 30... but I do want to see some improvement in his eating habits and choices.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I am on my second whole 30, with my fasd/adhd kids in tow.  They are doing GREAT this time around.  They are eating meat and veggies primarily, and scarfing them down this time around.  After how hard my first month was, I am amazing I am where I am with them.  I do make them paleo muffins, but otherwise they are whole30 compliant.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Archived

This topic is now archived and is closed to further replies.