How Food Can Benefit Children with Autism

How Food Can Benefit Children with Autism

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Our dietary needs as humans depend on various minerals and vitamins in order to continue to functioning regularly. Children with Autism are no different than we are. However, there are foods available that have been known to help in the development of autistic children. Eating these foods isn’t a cure by any means, but they can be greatly beneficial to your child’s development and could help in various mannerisms he or she may have.

1. The Good Fats – Omega-3 fatty acids are greatly beneficial in virtually any diet. According to Dr. Gordon Bell of Stirling University, some autistic children have an enzyme defect which removes the essential fats from brain cells quicker than those of average children. Replenishing these fats by consuming more omega-3 fatty acids or supplements has led to improved focus, moods, and behaviors of children with autism. These “good fats” can be found in most fish and a variety of other foods.

2. Gluten-Free – Gluten has been linked to many cases of causing ADD symptoms as a form of allergic reaction. In autistic children, it acts much in the same way. Some cases of autism have been known to improve behavior and focus by removing foods that are inclusive of gluten. However, this instance isn’t present in all children. As each child is different, reactions to gluten will differ. It is worth investigating if your child has a problem with gluten-based products, though. This is actually a fairly easy test to complete with your child as you simply purchase gluten-free edibles for a month or two. If his or her moods and behaviors begin to improve, there is a good chance that your child is one of those who has a problem with this food type.


3. Essential Vitamins – In the 1970s, Dr. Bernard Rimland of Institute for Child Behavior Research found that children that were given supplements for magnesium, vitamin B6, and vitamin C showed improvement within 75-percent of the case studies of autistic children. These children coincidentally reverted back to their original state once the treatment was replaced by a placebo. This study goes a long way to enlightening how diet can affect children suffering from this illness.

Since the 1970s, a variety of physicians have also been successful with patients by duplicating Dr. Rimland’s original study. If your child is not receiving the proper vitamins and nutrients, there are more lasting repercussions than simply physical health.

4. Start the Day – Breakfast can have a great impact in how the rest of your day will unfold both physically and mentally. Instead of pouring another bowl of sweetened cereal for your child, why not make a nutritious breakfast of what his or her body needs? A couple of eggs, an orange, and a glass of milk could go a long way to improving his or her mood. In reality, this breakfast could be ideal for anyone to have an improved day. However, the magnesium in milk, vitamin C in the orange, and the proteins and minerals in eggs helps reinforce Dr. Rimland’s study as described above.

Food is more than merely ingesting various materials to fill our stomachs. It needs to be a balance of what we need as a species in order to live healthier lives. Children with autism have been able to benefit from a proper diet, few of which have made leaps and bounds within themselves from nothing more than eating right. Much like ADD, some foods have been known to produce symptoms of mental deficiencies because the child was allergic to specifics. Find the right diet for your child
and help them live full lives.

About the Author:
Ken Myers is an expert advisor on in-home care & related family safety issues to many websites and groups. He is a regular contributor to You can get in touch with him at