If you are looking to address:


-behavioral dys-regulation

-focus and/or


there are a few fundamental principles that can help you design a diet (often mislabeled as an Autism Diet) that helps your child through the symptoms that they struggle with.

This is more accurately a food-based approach for symptoms that often co-exist with Autism, but are truly more common these days for everyone.



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Disclaimer: The information in this Podcast is for educational purposes only. Vaishnavi Sarathy, Ph.D. is an educator, not a doctor, specifically not your child’s doctor. Please consult your physician before implementing any supplement or diet recommendations.

Video Transcription: 


In this video, I am going to review six fundamental ideas that can help you design a diet for your child with autism. In other words, what does an Autism Diet look like? To tell you the truth? It doesn’t look like anything because the diet we’re designing is for gut health. A diet for designing is to make sure that some of the symptoms that may co-occur with autism, for example, this regulation, mood issues, behavioral issues, constipation, and diarrhea are addressed. Okay? So we’re talking about gut health and how to use food as a means to support gut health as a means to support brain health rights.

Now, if your child has an odd diagnosis of autism, and perhaps they’re very dysregulated, perhaps they have focus issues or are hyperactive, this may be a reason you’re here, perhaps you’ve heard that diet can make a difference. And most people have heard about the gluten-free dairy-free diet and some people have tried it, it has worked for some it has not worked for others. Now, you may have heard of several different diets, including the GAPS diet, the specific carbohydrate diet, SCD Perhaps you’ve heard of more complicated ones, like the body ecology, diet, autoimmune, paleo, and so on, there are so many diets out and it can get confusing what the right diet is for your child.

Today, we’re going to go back to the basics so that you have the fundamentals to design a fundamental, basic anti-inflammatory diet for your child. Okay. So now the question is, do you need a diet? Right? So let’s see, I want you to start off with the understanding that food is a hormone. So repeat after me, especially if you’re in a quiet place, food is a hormone. What does that mean? It means that the molecules that you ingest, as food have the ability to reprogram you have the ability to signal. So that’s what a hormone is, you we are constantly ingesting signaling molecules into our body three to four times a day. So if anything, has the possibility of making an effect on your child’s functioning, it is going to be food. So do you need to be on a diet?

Well, the smart answer to that is we’re all on diets every day, right? So I’m not going to be that person here and say we’re all on a diet. Let me ask you a few reverse questions to check if you need to be on a diet. We’re talking about your child right here. But it could be you.

Does your child exhibit self-injurious behavior? Perhaps this is associated with pain? Does your child experience constipation and diarrhea and bloating? Obvious gut issues? Right? Maybe not so obvious gut issues like chronic rashes, mood dysregulation? Does your child have headaches or pain, that they’re not able to articulate? Or maybe they are able to articulate?

Lastly, are they hyperactive or very low in energy? If you’ve answered yes to any one of these questions, and if you are here, my guess is that you’ve answered yes to more than one of these questions. Some of you may have answered yes to all of these questions. And I would say food is an excellent place to start, because the single most frequent piece of information that we give our body. Now, the five actually will make that 6 pillars for the diet for autism.

Let me rephrase that one more time. The 6 pillars for a diet for autism-related conditions for conditions that can often co-occur with autism are I’m going to start with what I believe to be the most important pillar. So

1. Eat a protein-rich low-sugar diet. When I say low sugar, I don’t just mean low refined sugar but low overall sugar for breakfast especially Okay.

2. Eat organic, only if you can. when I mean the only goes with the organic,

3. Eat organic only if you can’t eat a whole foods diet. Eat whole foods only right.

4. eat anti-inflammatory foods, gluten, dairy, and refined sugar are among the three most inflammatory foods for a child that is already experiencing dysregulation.

If you can stay away from these foods for at least three to six months, for a timeframe that you can monitor and track

5. Eat traditional foods according to where you come from, if possible, including ferments that are traditionally used in your culture.

6. Eat diverse, diverse, diverse different foods.

The second most important pillar The first one was breakfast. The second one was diversity. Now all of these pillars can be used by anybody except the fifth pillar, which is eating fermented foods. If your child has a salicylates histamine or glutamate sensitivity, this pillar may be something that you want to revisit, especially histamine and glutamate sensitivity. So I hope that this gives you a really good place to start and start creating a framework for your child. Because this is a diet that is going to reduce inflammation.

This is a diet that is going to give your child’s gut a breather allow it to heal. Remember, and I’ve said it five times today I apologize. But food is the single most frequent and most powerful intervention that we can give our children. In this diet, there are just six pillars, right? It can stabilize moods, it can bring focus, it can heal the gut. I will expand upon each one of these steps in future videos. But in the meantime, I have a request. As you get started on these types, please post in the comments about which of these pillars seems the hardest to you? Which of these pillars seems the most challenging and where you would like more support?

Until then, onwards, I am your partner in this journey in food and in learning, I invite from functionalnutritionforkids.com. If you’ve been wanting to learn about why I’m able to talk about this, I want to tell you that I practice functional nutrition consulting for children with disabilities.

I have a child who has Down syndrome and autism and I have worked with every one of these pillars on AI, the core pillars of my practice are presuming competence and gut health, and therefore brain health. Right? I’ve given a TEDx talk on the value of presuming competence. You can look for it on YouTube and it’s called who decides how smart you are? Until the next video. You can find me at functionalnutritionforkids.com Bye.