Thursday, February 28, 2008

More on Going-Gluten-Free!

Island Autism Moms February 27, 2008
Going Gluten-Free continued….
I have never heard of a child with ASD not benefiting from a change in diet. Gluten is responsible across the board for many varying neurological and gastro-intestinal disorders (ASD, ADD, ADHD, Celiac disease, psychological irregularities and metabolic disorders, to name a few.) When a parent ‘tries’ going-gluten-free and feels it does not help their child, it is my feeling that they either didn’t give it a chance (sometimes takes up to 9-18 months to see improvement) they gave up because most often their kids get ‘worse’ after beginning the diet, or they are not careful about implementing the elimination of gluten.
Here are some tips about truly going GLUTEN-FREE:
Please read the cross-contamination pointers about home food-prep on the blog. It will take a while to set up a gluten-free prep area at home, but soon it will be second nature!
Be aware of cross-contamination of gluten-free items found in bakeries, cafes and grocery stores. Remember, there is a difference between ‘’gluten-free’ and no-gluten-added (or gluten-less) food items. If a food item is marked by a manufacturer as ‘gluten-free’ it has been ‘certified’ that it does not contain any gluten ingredients AND was produced in a gluten-free production facility.
For example—locally Black Bird Bakery often makes what they label ‘gluten-free’ scones, biscuits, cookies, brownies, etc. BUT these were made on the same counters, bowls and ovens that wheat, oat, bran etc, flour items were produced. Even in the best kitchens—cross contamination is tricky, so please be careful and wary of trusting an unwrapped food item in a non-gluten free facility to be truly gluten-free! Also, keep in mind that gluten-free is not also dairy, milk, butter, casein free, so check ALL of the ingredients in anything that you are planning to give your child that you did not personally make yourself.
That said, here are some sneaky ingredients that can interfere with going-gluten-free:
Candy: Wheat is used as a thickener in many gummy-type and licorice-like candies. Candies are often produced on machinery or counters that are dusted with flour—and the companies making the candy are not obligated to disclose the use of flour as a non-stick surface agent, only if it is used as an ingredient.
Caramel Color: beware if it is made of malt syrup or starch hydrolysates. (malt sneaks its way into rice-milk and beverages and many cereals!)
Dextrin: Found in hot-dogs, pasta sauce and processed foods. Sometimes made from corn or potatoes, but also wheat.
French Fries: In packages, wheat is often used as a browning or crisping agent. Read the label! In restaurants fried foods share the same batch of oil; breaded items, and floured items contaminate the oil.
HVP or Hydrolyzed Veg. Protein: Found in canned mixed foods; soups, sausages and hot dogs and OFTEN INJECTED IN TURKEY.
Modified Food Starch: Often derived from wheat and found in processed foods as a thickener.
Rice Syrup: Beware of malt in it!
Vinegar: Found in many condiments-ketchup, mustard, mayo, salsa…not to mention pickled foods. Only properly distilled vinegar is acceptable (vinegar is derived from fermented grains) or apple cider, rice, wine and fruit vinegars are ‘safe’. Don’t forget to read your salsa labels!
Other foods to consider avoiding or reading labels: Most contain wheat or grain:
· Soy sauce
· ‘natural flavorings’
· Bouillon cubes and flavorings
· Spices and table salt—some contained anti-clumping agents derived from wheat
· Corn starch and Powdered sugar-same reason as above
· Liquid Baking flavorings that contain alcohol: vanilla, almond, maple, orange, etc.
1. Read labels
2. Look for ‘hidden’ ingredients
3. Be skeptical unless an item is certified ‘gluten-free’.
4. Even if a food does not contain gluten, did it come down the same conveyor belt as a food that does or was the machinery cleaned thoroughly between batches? Was it made on the same counter or by hands handling gluten foods?
5. When ordering at a restaurant, do they fully understand the precautions required to avoid gluten?
6. When in doubt—be conservative! It’s worth it!
7. Try to stay positive! Don’t think elimination—think substitution! We live in a time when there are great ingredients, stores and resources!

Keep a food diary or chart:
1. Note changes both positive and negative behaviors such as:
++ Increase in Verbalization
++ Better processing of instruction and information
++ Calmer more regulated, easier to soothe
++ Clearer, less ‘zoning’ or stimming
-- Anxiety
--Rocking, head banging, flapping…..

2. Note physical changes such as:
Upset stomach, stomach pain, diarrhea, regularity, appetite, sleep, etc

3. Give each item a measurable ‘grade’ each day for a realistic evaluation.

Living Well Without Wheat, The Gluten-Free Gourmet by Bette Hagma
Special Diets for Special Kids by Lisa Lewis

No comments:

Post a Comment