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Gluten Free Casein Free Diet for Autism, GFCF Diet

Introduction

Gluten Free Casein Free (GFCF) is an elimination diet of gluten (found in wheat flour, barley, and rye) and casein (found in milk and dairy products).   In some cases children with autism are sensitive or allergic to foods containing dairy (casein) and gluten and may experience behavioral issues such as, hyperactivity, temper tantrums, problems with eye contact, and speech skills.  It is believed that some of these behaviors are reactions to the discomfort of digestive problems due to gluten and casein. Some parents have reported improvement in children's behavior, social, speech, and learning skills using the GFCF diet. If you notice some of the symptoms mentioned above you should seek advice from your doctor about starting the GFCF diet.

Related Sites

Gluten-Free/Casein-Free Diets for Autism
Description:  This page from WebMD, Gluten-Free/Casein-Free Diets for Autism, discusses how a GFCF diet may benefit those with autism.

Gluten-Free/Casein-Free Diets for Autism
Description:  Article describing the GFCF diet and how it works.

The GFCF Diet Intervention - Autism Diet
Description:  This website is a free resource to help parents and caregivers implement the GFCF diet properly.

Autism Spectrum Disorders: The Role of Gluten and Dairy
Description:  A five minute video by Dr. Vikki Petersen presenting a study done on GFCF diet with children on the Autism Spectrum and the impact it had on their health.

Gluten Free/Casein Free Autism Success Stories
Description:  From the very beginning, the GF/CF diet has weathered stormy roads of doubt and discredit; however, parents tell their real stories.

Managing Autism Symptoms through Nutrition
Description:  The article outlines the nutritional status of children with autism with charts on common supplements to the diets of children with autism. In addition the article discusses different dietary approaches to managing symptoms of autism.

Books

Enjoy Life's Cookies for Everyone!: 150 Delicious Gluten-Free Treats that are Safe for Most Anyone with Food Allergies, Intolerances, or Sensitivities by Leslie Hammond and Betsy Laakso
Description:  A sweet treat for suffers of food intolerances. This book provides the reader with recipes for yummy desserts that are safe for people suffering from the most common allergens.

Special-Needs Kids Eat Right: Strategies to Help Kids on the Autism Spectrum Focus, Learn, and Thrive by Judy Converse
Description:  Written by a licensed dietician, this book includes food substitutions, how to stay on the diet while eating in restaurants and attending family gatherings as well as monitoring progress.

The Autism and ADHD Diet: A Step-by-Step Guide to Hope and Healing by Living Gluten Free and Casein Free (GFCF) and Other Interventions by Barrie Silberberg
Description:  This GFCF guidebook was designed by a mother whose son has autism. This book along with tips by parents will provide a thorough aid in beginning the diet process.

Feast Without Yeast A Complete Guide to Implementing Yeast Free, Wheat Free and Milk Free Living by Dr. Bruce Semon and Lori Kornblum
Description:  Along with a program to change over to a healthier diet, this book contains several recipes that are yeast free, sugar free, kosher, and mostly free of the common food allergens.

The How Can It Be Gluten Free Cookbook by America’s Test Kitchen
Description:  This cookbook gives the ins and outs of gluten free cooking by describing what works in the food preparation and why it actually works. Note that this cookbook may not be casein free.

The Autism Cookbook: 101 Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Recipes by Susan Delaine
Description:  These cookbook recipes are free of many common allergens including GFCF. There are several easy to prepare meals which focus primarily on family dinners.

The Beginner's Ultimate Autism Diet Cookbook: Gluten-Free Casein-Free Recipes for Autistic Children and Their Families by Allison Iwata
Description:  The very basics of the GFCF diet are discussed in this cookbook in conjunction with the research backing the benefits of its implementation. Also, recipes and hints for attempting the diet are given.

The AiA Gluten and Dairy Free Cookbook by Marilyn Le Breton
Description:  This gluten and dairy free cookbook supplies the reader with over 400 recipes for individuals with food sensitivities. Although the majority of the recipes come from the author, she does include others from parents as well.

Autism: Exploring the Benefits of a Gluten- and Casein-Free Diet: A Practical Guide for Families and Professionals by Paul Whiteley, Mark Earnden and Elouise Robinson
Description:  This combination of authors has changed complex terminology into simple terms for understanding the relationship of GFCF diet and autism. Additionally, helpful tips and recipes are provided.

Getting Your Kid on a Gluten-Free Casein-Free Diet by Susan Lord
Description:  Written by a dietitian and mother, this book contains simple meal plans, recipes, and lists ingredients to aid in following a healthy diet.

Wheat-Free, Gluten-Free Cookbook for Kids and Busy Adults, Second Edition by Connie Sarros
Description:  A variety of wheat/gluten free from quick snacks to detailed meals are highlighted in this recipe book.

The Simple Way to Start the GF/CF Diet: An Easy Guide to Implementing the Gluten Free/Casein Free Diet for Your Child with Autism by Natalie A. Kulig
Description:  Sharing part of her own life, this author and mother of a daughter with autism contributes her recipes for success with a GFCF diet.

Real Food Real Results: Gluten-Free, Low-Oxalate, Nutrient-Rich Recipes by Melinda Keen
Description:  Recipes high in key vitamins and minerals, high in protein, and high in fiber. This holistic approach gives the body a chance to detoxify and reset health.

The Kid-Friendly ADHD & Autism Cookbook: The Ultimate Guide to the Gluten-Free, Casein-Free Diet by Pamela Compart, MD, and Dana Laake, MS, LDN
Description:  The authors have simplified the GFCF diet with clear explanations of what it is, why it works, and how to do it. The book is a guide with an abundance of diverse recipes. The authors reveal the symptoms that suggest intolerance to gluten and casein and suggest substitutes and recipes with a focus on nutrient dense foods that are also a solution for the picky eater. The specialty ingredients are explained and extensive sources provided. There are testimonials from parents and the children themselves.

ASD The Complete Autism Spectrum Disorder Health and Diet Guide: Includes 175 Gluten-Free and Casein-Free Recipes by R. Smith, Susan Hannah and Elke Sengmueller
Description:  This book highlights 175 recipes that are gluten and casein free. A complete set of information including causes of ASD, management of the disease, and recipes for implementation is showcased.

Allergy-Free and Easy Cooking: 30-Minute Meals without Gluten, Wheat, Dairy, Eggs, Soy, Peanuts, Tree Nuts, Fish, Shellfish, and Sesame by Cybele Pascal
Description:  Autism is linked to a variety of allergens, and this cookbook provides 75 completely allergen-free recipes with prep times of 30 minutes or less.

Cooking for Isaiah: Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Recipes for Easy Delicious Meals by Silvana Nardone
Description:  A special cookbook created by a mom for her son with food intolerances. In addition to easy to follow recipes, the author gives examples of food substitutions that can be used.

Special Diets for Special Kids, Volumes 1 and 2 Combined by Lisa Lewis Ph.D. and Dr.
Description:  A book which combines the author’s previous two books. The first part of the new combo book speaks to dietary intervention while the second part is comprised of a cookbook. In addition, a CD with printable recipes is included.

Tools

2014/2015 Gluten/Casein Free Grocery Shopping Guide by Dr. Mara Matison and Mr. Dainis Matison
Description:  This pocket sized food guide will aid in gluten and casein free shopping. With included food/drink lists, popular food brands, as well as foods provided at local suppliers, this quick reference will be a necessity for all who are on the diet.

Gluten-Free Dairy-Free Recipe Index
Description:  This website has a variety of gluten and dairy free recipes.

Gluten-Free Casein-Free Diet for Autism Spectrum Disorder
Description:  This article, presented by the Children’s Hospital and Clinics of Minnesota, provides a brief overview of the GFCF diet in addition to a list of gluten and casein foods to avoid.

Long list of Suppliers of Gluten Free products A-L, M–Z
Description:  Retailers selling gluten or wheat free foods. Lists food manufactures that selling gluten free foods at grocery and health food stores.

Gluten Free Girl Scout Cookies
Description:  This well-illustrated site has pictures and a clear easy explanation on how to make Tagalong Cookies known as Peanut Butter cookies that are gluten free.

Gluten-Free School Supplies
Description:  This web site lists several school/preschool items that may contain gluten.

Parent Forums/Blogs

Some forums require you to sign in to Yahoo or Facebook to locate forum names.

Forum/Blog Name:  GFCF Community Bulletin Board
Description:  You may click on your state and find support groups of parents implementing a GFCF diet.

Forum/Blog Name:  GFCF Diet Support Group
Description:  Whether you’re just starting the gluten-free, casein-free diet or have been at it a while and feel like you’re stuck in a rut, you may be looking for new ideas about how to make it work for your family. Join this group as they discuss some challenges and solutions for successful implementation of the diet.

Forum/Blog Name:  The GFCF Recipes Group
Description:  This group is for sharing recipes for the GFCF diet. There are several families who have kids that are on such diet(s) but they struggle to find good recipes for their kids and there are families who created or know excellent GFCF recipes. Let us share so all our kids can enjoy all those tasty GFCF dishes.

Forum/Blog Name:  GFCF Recipes
Description:  Welcome to the recipe and support group for those needing to cook a gluten-free, casein-free diet, and sometimes multiple others free (corn, soy, artificials, etc.). Parents needing cooking support, food questions and who want to swap recipes for all kinds of GFCF cooking. Plain and fancy, snacks and family dinners. All are welcome.