- Written by by Queen Munguti for Kenyakidz
Esther Ndinda, a mother of four, learnt that her six month old son is autistic. Since then, she made sure that his dietary needs are met.
“Autistic children do eat foods that contain wheat, milk, preservatives, additives and sugar among others,” said Ndinda. “When I was weaning him off breast milk, I had to make sure that the food I fed him did not contain any of those ingredients.”
Foods that contain the above ingredients tend to affect their body systems and can cause irritability. “It usually makes them hypeactive,” said Angela Mogaki, the administrator of the St Gerald’s center for children with Autism. “And when they are hyperactive, it is best to let it wear out and avoid giving them any medicine that can make the condition worse.”
According to an article titled Foods for Children with Autism, by Jacqueline Banks is a certified holistic health counselor, methylation, transsulfuration and sulfation, a set of chemical pathways in the body involved in detoxification , heavy metal elimination, digestion, immune function and gut integrity, function sub-optimally for those with autism.
Thus, when children eat foods containing sugar, preservatives or additives, it will not be broken down properly; it leads to foggy thinking, insensitivity to pain, withdrawal and irritability.
For young autistic children, those below one year, they need nutrients that are found in the foods they are not supposed to eat such as calcium. “The parents or guardians need to get food to supplement with calcium such that their child is getting the nutrients that they need,” said Angela.
Some of the foods that autistic children can eat include; vegetables, chicken, beans, ugali and fruits among others. “However parents and guardians need to be careful with fruits because some children can react to sugary fruits.”