Applied Behavior Analysis is quickly becoming one of the top therapies to assist those living with autism and other disorders to live well and contribute to their community. ABA therapy involves a change of lifestyle to become healthier, including eating the right foods. This can be a nutritious and delicious way to help children adapt to the world around them. When introducing new or unique foods, it is crucial to start slow and offer them choices. Allow a child to choose a healthier option and pair the foods that they do not prefer alongside some favorites. For example, include a healthy vegetable on the same plate as their preferred comfort food. Try these foods to give your child the best start with their ABA therapy.
1. Omega-3 Fatty Acids
Those living with autism often suffer from a deficiency of ‘healthy’ essential fats in their diets. However, due to autism the brain creates an enzyme that uses up the beneficial effects of these acids much more quickly than those in other bodies. Counteract this by adding foods that contain omega-3 fatty acids in a higher concentration. Foods such as fish, seeds and oils can be a big help. Make sure the oil comes from plants, such as flax seed or canola oil. Present your child with an array of seeds and nuts and let them make their own choice. This form of encouragement will enhance a child’s sense of having control over their own life. Fish can be substituted for more favored foods like chicken.
2. Leafy Green Vegetables
A strong dose of leafy green vegetables, such as spinach or kale are recommended for all children, but it has shown to be extremely successful when helping out with ABA therapy. Many children with autism suffer from digestive complaints and these vegetables can relieve many of their symptoms. The nutritional content of these vegetables is not to be underestimated, and they can quickly become a favorite. Play around with different ingredients and forms of preparation and you will see how easy it is to create a dish that your child will not be able to get enough of. They can be added to a smoothie with sweet fruit to make a drink they will clamor for.
3. Foods High in Pre-Biotics
while ABA therapy can help with many of the cognitive symptoms of autism, there are some physical symptoms that can be just as uncomfortable. For example, many children with autism face digestive ailments and need a boost of fiber in their diet. Introduce into their diet a combination of fibrous fruits and vegetables for the best results. Foods such as bananas, onions and peas are often recommended. To settle a rumbling tummy, give them a snack of yogurt or an authentic kefir.
4. Sustainable Animal Protein
While animals that are raised in a more sustainable way may be better for the environment, they also contain more of the nutritional value that a child with autism needs.For example, grass-fed cattle contain less cholesterol and more Vitamin A (an essential vitamin) than those raised in more conventional ways.Organically raised chicken, cattle and other animals also contain far fewer of the harmful antibiotics and growth hormones than others do. Animal protein is also an excellent source of the vitamin B12, which some research suggests can be helpful for children on the spectrum when they are struggling to concentrate on simple tasks.
5. Fortified Eggs
we already talked about the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids. Fortified eggs are a particularly good source of this mineral and they can also give your child the protein that they need. Not only can the omega-3 fatty acids help with a child’s digestive health, but they can also have the effect of lessening anxiety and depression and helping your child to concentrate in ABA therapy. It is important to make this a regular part of your child’s diet, including it in meals at least three days a week to see the best benefits.
A common symptom of autism i having thinner or more brittle bones. Combat this by making sure that your child eats a lot of foods containing calcium. Casein, another protein found in a lot of dairy products has been shown to have detrimental effects on those with autism, so it is beneficial to search for yogurt, milk and other dairy products with a higher concentration of calcium. Calcium supplements are also a popular choice, as they can add to your child’s daily intake of this valuable mineral. Calcium is helpful during ABA therapy because it not only adds to the body’s stability and ability to grow but can also give a boost to critical thinking capabilities.
7. Supplements of Crucial Vitamins and Minerals
Many of the essential minerals that a body needs are able to be generated by the body itself. However, some of them cannot be created and some are necessary in a higher dosage than is possible to get from diet alone. Fatty acids, of which Omega-3 is the most well known type, cannot be created by your body. However, they are essential to the health of your brain as well as ensuring that an immune system grows in a strong manner. Use supplements to allow your child to get the amount that they need. Similarly, if a nutrient is easily obtainable through food but your child vehemently rejects it, a supplement may be the best option.
Encouraging your child to eat a nutritious diet can help with the symptoms that they suffer as a result of their autism and help them absorb more of the important lessons imparted by their ABA therapy. Remember to give them a diverse array of foods and always let them choose what they want to eat. This will reinforce that they are in charge of their life and help them learn to make smart decisions all on their own. This will create an environment here your child feels nurtured and has their desire at the forefront. For more on ABA services Sarasota County, contact us today.