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Blog: Blog2

Nutrition and the Brain Part 4

Updated: Aug 30, 2023

Now that we’ve looked at removing foods that can be toxic to your child (and

probably to yourself as well), let’s consider the next steps to improving your child’s


Once the inflammatory and toxic foods have been eliminated, the gut is able to begin

to heal. As you work with your functional nutritionist, she will likely do some

testing for food allergies and intolerances. She will also do a stool test to get a

picture of what’s really going on in the gut. From here, she will recommend a diet

specific for your child. This could involve a candida diet, like The Body Ecology Diet,

to get rid of yeast, or a low FODMAP diet to manage SIBO (Small Intestinal Bacteria

Overgrowth), or another useful protocol for your child’s unique body.

Supplements will also be helpful in the healing and rebuilding of the gut.

Replenishing healthy bacteria with probiotics and probiotic foods can be important

as well as helping digestion with the use of digestive enzymes. An Omega 3 fatty

acid supplement is excellent for helping reduce inflammation in the body and is

critical for brain function.

Even before you meet with a nutritionist or receive your test results, you can take

some steps right now to improving your child’s health. By removing the gluten,

dairy, corn, and soy as well as sugar and artificial ingredients, you will be well on

your way! You can then add in all the colorful fruits and vegetables, a variety of

proteins and healthy fats to EACH meal.

Half of your child’s plate should be high fiber vegetables, a mixture of raw and

cooked. You can then add a ‘palm-sized’ portion of protein, such as free-range

pasture-raised eggs, wild caught fish, free range chicken, grass fed finished beef.

Quality does matter! On the plate, you may also choose to include a starch, the size

of the palm of his hand. This may include root vegetables, gluten free grains, and

winter squash.

Last, but not least, your child will need a healthy portion of fat at each meal.

Healthy fats include nuts, seeds, nut butters, coconut oil, olive oil, avocados/avocado oil. Fruit can make a tasty dessert or snack. If eaten as a snack, try to include some nuts or seeds to help slow the insulin response.

By eating real food, in a variety of colors and flavors, and avoiding the foods and

non-foods that are harmful, you and your child will not only feel better, but your

child will gain a much higher chance of improving his/her symptoms of ASD and ADHD.

In the next and final blog post in the series, I will share some tips for success!

-Shannon Ebbers

Certified Nutrition & Cognitive Therapist

Homeschool Mother of 5

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