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Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if Dietary Intervention is correct for my child?

If your child struggles with

  • gut symptoms like frequent constipation or diarrhea, skin rashes
  • learning and energy issues like fatigue or hyperactivity or lack of focus
  • mood issues like emotional outbursts, anger, “behaviors”, tantrums

There is now abundant research that anti-inflammatory diets can alleviate all the symptoms listed above.

What is an “Autism Diet”?

I am not a fan of the term, because the nutritional intervention is based on root-cause issues, it can be based on symptoms, but it is certainly not based on diagnoses.

According to some studies, more than 80% of children with Autism struggle with GI symptoms, and this is what nutritional intervention for gut inflammation

looks like!

What you can expect from nutritional intervention is a better focus, less hyperactivity, more calm in the body, gut and mind, better learning skills and better mood regulation.

What is Roadmap to Attention and Regulation?

Roadmap to Attention and Regulation is a 5-week program that I offer where you will learn how to precisely use food and nutrition as powerful tools to transform your child’s moods, increase their focus, stabilize their energy, and get into a learning pathway and mindset.

It is pretty phenomenal, if I say so myself, and most everyone who has done this course has seen phenomenal results.

“After changing my son’s diet per ROAR for 3 months – his focus is up to 20 mins from just 2 mins before we started this course. Therapists are able to engage with him and do productive work. Earlier they just used to change him around.” – Thu Nguyen, mom of Autistic child.

How do I know the right time to start a dietary protocol for my child?

If your child struggles with Learning, Gut, Mood, or Neurological Problems, the right time is NOW. Food is medicine, and there is almost no chronic health condition that is not impacted by Food Quality.

If you have specific questions about the suitability of nutritional intervention for specific medical conditions, please reach out to vaish@functionalnutritionforkids.com

My child has Down Syndrome? What does diet have to do with Down Syndrome?

Nutritional Intervention can make many of the conditions/problems associated with Down Syndrome easier. For example, constipation. Most people with Down Syndrome have low muscle tone causing gut issues (the gut is a muscle) such as poor digestion, constipation, reflux and so on. Avoiding inflammatory foods can do magic here.

Secondly, Oxidative Stress is a common factor in children with Down Syndrome – causing most chronic inflammatory conditions – aging, cardiovascular issues, neurological degeneration, and more… Nutrition is one of the most impactful ways to combat Oxidative Stress.

What is the right diet for my child?

That is a million-dollar question – and honestly, while specifically targeted diets vary depending on what goal you are looking for, almost everyone benefits from a Foundational Anti-Inflammatory Diet such as R.O.A.R.

If you want to learn more about what diets may be best suited for specific needs, or just explore the world of healing diets in general, check out this course – Therapeutic Diets for Kids.

But if you are ready to jump into research-backed diets for focus and behavior support – while addressing gut health – R.O.A.R is the diet for you

Can removing Gluten and Dairy “cure” Autism?

Gluten and Dairy are extremely inflammatory foods for most people, especially children with Autism, but also children with other disabilities associated with poor muscle tone or limited movement or neurological conditions.

I am not interested in “curing” or “fixing” Autism. I think a better framework of thinking is addressing symptoms that occur commonly in Autistic children, such as:

  • Pain in the gut
  • Brain fog
  • Hyperactivity
  • Low focus
  • Constipation
  • Emotional dysregulation
  • Mood disruption
  • Difficulty sleeping
  • Lack of energy
  • Inability to pay attention, etc.

All of these symptoms can be supported (and overturned) via nutritional interventions, and an anti-inflammatory diet.

How can I heal my child’s gut?

The Institute for Functional Medicine (IFM) talks about a (now famous) 5R protocol for healing gut inflammation:

R – Remove
R – Replace
R – Reincoluate
R – Repair
R – Rebalance

Generally, depending on where your child’s health is, each of these “R”s may take a different approach.

We remove inflammatory foods, replace these foods with more nutrient dense foods, but also replace any nutrients/enzymes you may need for digestion, reinoculate with good bacteria, work on repairing gut tissue / tight junction integrity, and rebalance your child’s food and lifestyle.

I have gone gluten and dairy free before but it didn’t help my child at all. Can Dietary Intervention still help?

Going Gluten and Dairy free is not a guaranteed approach to reducing inflammation – in fact, many diets that are gluten- and casein- free (dairy free) include such high amounts of processed food, and hidden sugars that they can actually be worse than not going gluten free at all. It is important that when going off gluten and dairy, the diet is also anti-inflammatory and micro-nutrient rich. Dietary intervention, when done right, can absolutely still help, even if going gluten and dairy-free didn’t help you.

Which of your courses should I start with?

I recommend starting with Roadmap to Attention and Regulation (R.O.A.R) which is a 5-week deep dive into an anti-inflammatory diet – with tons of support. Even though it is laid out over 5 weeks, you can take as long as you like to finish it, and it is yours to keep.

Can I heal my child’s ADHD?

Many ADHD symptoms like low focus and hyperactivity can be managed through nutritional intervention.

A good place to learn more is in my podcast “The Hyperactivity Diet

My child has been on a biomed protocol for a long time. I am sure there is nothing more for me to do.

In order for any protocol (Biomed or otherwise) to work there are a few foundational steps that need to be in place:

  1. Blood Sugar Balance
  2. Nutrient Status
  3. A diet that addresses food and chemical sensitivity
  4. Treating Constipation and/or Diarrhea
  5. Sound Sleep

When these foundational factors are addressed (Roadmap to Attention and Regulation addresses these factors and more), other protocols actually have a chance to succeed.