Food choices play a vital role in the health of children with Autism and neurodiversity.
Many of these children have digestive issues as well, and so a diet full of nutrient dense food is highly important.
A recent study found that the most common nutrient deficiencies in autistic children were folic acid, fiber, calcium, iron, zinc, as well as vitamins A, C, D, E, B6, B12, and K. As with many children, neurodivergent children may have food preferences, obsessions, and/or aversions which can cause them to have too much or too little of these nutrients.
We’ve put together a list of optimal foods that parents should try to incorporate as much as possible on a daily basis. We recommend choosing organic when at all possible.
- Grass fed beef
- Pasture raised eggs
- Pasture raised poultry
- Fatty, wild caught fish
- Onions and garlic
- Dairy free kefir and yogurt
- Dried figs and dates
- Butternut squash
- Sweet Potatoes
- Citrus fruits
At the same time, parents should avoid the following foods as much as possible.
Foods containing artificial coloring/dyes
High sugar foods
There is ample research that shows the link between poor nutrition and increased behavioral issues/symptoms of children with Autism and neurodiversities.
We’ve put together a sample day of
nutritious meals for you!
Try to create a combination of healthy fat, protein and fiber.
Our healthy smoothie
- Handful of ice
- ½ banana
- ¾ cup mixed berries
- 2 tbsp. almond butter
- 1 tbsp. dairy free plain yogurt
- 1 scoop plant based protein powder (vanilla or berry flavor)
- 1 tbsp. chia seed
- 2 tsp. MCT oil
- ¾ cup almond, flax, or oat milk
- Blend and enjoy. Perfect for breakfast, lunch or a snack- as a drinkable smoothie or in a smoothie bowl!
Eggs with gluten free toast
A bowl of berries with sliced banana and kefir/yogurt
Avocado gluten free toast, topped with an egg
The goal in mind is to keep your child full and keep their blood sugar stable.
Aim for a good balance of healthy fats, protein, and fiber.
Turkey burger with sweet potato. Sweeten with grass fed butter and honey (rather than brown sugar)
Gluten free rice or pasta with a spoonful of organic ghee
Gluten free PBJ, made with almond butter or healthy peanut butter (no added sugar) and organic, dye free jelly/jam
End the day on a healthy note with these dinner ideas!
Mexican sweet potato hash
Gluten free spaghetti
Eggs and gluten free English muffin
Salmon and gluten free rice
You can allow your child something sweet every so often and still make it healthy...
- Ants on a log (celery with healthy nut butter, and raisins)
- Fruit kabobs
- Apples and nut butter
- Sliced bananas, topped with nut butter and blueberries
- Homemade guacamole and gluten free chips/crackers
- Healthy snack mixes (free of oils/candies)