Controlling the Asperger’s diet is not easy. Even more challenging can be finding foods that do not include the products that could very well be influencing Asperger’s behavior. Another problem linked with Asperger’s diet can be – getting your Asperger child to try new food.
Why is managing of Asperger’s Diet so important?
Research has demonstrated a link between ADHD, which is common among children with Asperger’s, and diet.
Common food antagonists include sugar, and dyes used in foods. But many people also have sensitivities to foods such as wheat, eggs, dairy products, chocolate, soy products, and corn products.
Food sensitivities can produce a wide range of effects on anyone, and may not always be the typical allergy that we associate with them.
How to manage Asperger’s Diet:
Try eliminating products that your child typically consumes and see if there is an effect.
How to determine food sensitivities:
1. Only eliminate one thing at a time so that you know what may be affecting them.
2. Only give them a few basic items for a few weeks and then gradually add things back in to determine which may be contributing to their behavior.
It may be helpful to consult an allergist as well.
Useful ideas on how you can make your Asperger child more comfortable with trying new foods.
Getting a child with Asperger’s to try new food?
1. Make him a “menu”.
Have him choose an appetizer and a main course.
Provide him with 2 choices in each category.
Make both appetizer choices foods he does not typically eat.
Serve him a very small portion of the appetizer he chooses, start with just 1 bite.
Provide a choice of at least one main course food that he prefers, but tell him appetizer comes before the main course and he needs to choose and eat the appetizer before he will be given the main course. Stress to him that as soon as he tastes the appetizer it will be time for the main dish, and provide a lot of positive reinforcement for eating the appetizer.
Try to stick with the same appetizer choices for about a week to allow him to get used to them. If he starts picking the same appetizer on consecutive days, begin increasing the serving size until he is eating a typical amount.
2. Another idea is to make a game of trying a food.
Have him help you prepare a new food, and then both of you taste it. Or make a food a funny color as a joke, and then eat it.
Outside of meals try talking to him about new things in general, and how trying new things is sometimes scary but also lots of fun. You could remind him of things he was scared of initially but now enjoys, and then point out that trying new foods is similar.
It’s a long and gradual process, but stick with it.
These are just a few of the tips, tricks and techniques for understanding the effects of aspergers diet.
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