If your child is not reaching certain milestones at age-appropriate times, she may have a developmental delay. A delay can be thought of as a pause in the process of development. A child may be delayed in motor, thinking or social skills or a combination of the three. Researchers have developed strategies to help children who are developmentally delayed. One approach is a gluten-free diet 3. But consult your child's physician before undertaking this or any other dramatic change in his diet.
Each child develops at her own pace. A failure to walk at 12 months, for example, doesn't necessarily indicate a developmental delay. But if you observe a delay that seems too long or if your child even regresses, make an appointment with her pediatrician. Your pediatrician can refer you to specialists who will conduct a series of tests with your child. After a thorough evaluation, they will be able to determine if your child has a delay and how to treat it.
- Each child develops at her own pace.
- After a thorough evaluation, they will be able to determine if your child has a delay and how to treat it.
Gluten & Dairy-Free Diet for Kids
Studies conducted by the Autism Network for Dietary Intervention show that in many cases, children who suffer from impaired social, communication and imaginative skills also show abnormalitites in their ability to break down gluten. For this reason, a gluten-free diet may be helpful to children with developmental delays 3. A gluten-free diet is a meal plan composed of foods that lack gluten, which is a protein found in grains and wheat 1. The thinking is that some kids aren’t able to digest gluten proteins. The undigested proteins leak through the intestine and into the bloodstream and finally travel to the brain. They can have an opiate effect on development and brain function.
- Studies conducted by the Autism Network for Dietary Intervention show that in many cases, children who suffer from impaired social, communication and imaginative skills also show abnormalitites in their ability to break down gluten.
- For this reason, a gluten-free diet may be helpful to children with developmental delays 3.
Foods on a Gluten-free Diet
Feeding your child a strictly gluten free diet means eliminating all rye, barley, bulgar and oats from his menu 1. You will also eliminate artificial colors, starches, flavorings and malt. Your child can still have a variety of foods, including eggs, poultry, rice, corn, fruits, vegetables and meat. Many food manufacturers make gluten-free products. They can be found in mainstream grocery stores, usually in the health food or organic sections. Health-food stores also stock gluten-free foods.
- Feeding your child a strictly gluten free diet means eliminating all rye, barley, bulgar and oats from his menu 1.
- Health-food stores also stock gluten-free foods.
ADHD Meal Plan
If you have an official diagnosis of a developmental delay, it’s best to work with your pediatrician and a nutritionist to determine if a gluten-free diet is best for your child 123. A nutritionist will be able to help you create a menu that will fulfill your child's nutritional needs, while removing any foods that may affect him negatively. It is often best to ease into the new diet. Remove one food with gluten every few days, but replace it with an extra serving of a gluten-free food that your child enjoys. Bookstores and libraries stock many gluten-free cookbooks. Experiment with recipes to find those that your child especially likes.
- If you have an official diagnosis of a developmental delay, it’s best to work with your pediatrician and a nutritionist to determine if a gluten-free diet is best for your child 1.
- A nutritionist will be able to help you create a menu that will fulfill your child's nutritional needs, while removing any foods that may affect him negatively.
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- GFCF: GFCF Diet and Health
- University of Michigan Health System: Developmental Delay
- Gluten-Free Living: How to Get Started
- Roszkowska A, Pawlicka M, Mroczek A, Bałabuszek K, Nieradko-iwanicka B. Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity: A Review. Medicina (Kaunas). 2019;55(6) doi:10.3390/medicina55060222
- Jones AL. The Gluten-Free Diet: Fad or Necessity? Diabetes Spectr. 2017;30(2):118–123. doi:10.2337/ds16-0022
- Parzanese I, Qehajaj D, Patrinicola F, et al. Celiac disease: From pathophysiology to treatment. World J Gastrointest Pathophysiol. 2017;8(2):27–38. doi:10.4291/wjgp.v8.i2.27
- Elli L, Branchi F, Tomba C, et al. Diagnosis of gluten related disorders: Celiac disease, wheat allergy and non-celiac gluten sensitivity. World J Gastroenterol. 2015;21(23):7110–7119. doi:10.3748/wjg.v21.i23.7110
- Choi JM, Lebwohl B, Wang J, et al. Increased prevalence of celiac disease in patients with unexplained infertility in the United States. J Reprod Med. 2011;56(5-6):199–203.
- Elkan AC, Sjöberg B, Kolsrud B, Ringertz B, Hafström I, Frostegård J. Gluten-free vegan diet induces decreased LDL and oxidized LDL levels and raised atheroprotective natural antibodies against phosphorylcholine in patients with rheumatoid arthritis: a randomized study. Arthritis Res Ther. 2008;10(2):R34. doi:10.1186/ar2388
- Leonard MM, Cureton P, Fasano A. Indications and Use of the Gluten Contamination Elimination Diet for Patients with Non-Responsive Celiac Disease. Nutrients. 2017;9(10):1129. Published 2017 Oct 18. doi:10.3390/nu9101129
- Rai S, Kaur A, Chopra CS. Gluten-Free Products for Celiac Susceptible People. Front Nutr. 2018;5:116. Published 2018 Dec 17. doi:10.3389/fnut.2018.00116
Amy Kaminsky worked as a television producer, producing programming for networks including Home and Garden Television and The Animal Planet. Kaminsky also produced pharmaceutical training videos for a national retail drug chain to update pharmacists on topics including vitamins, supplements and pharmacist-patient relations. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in mass communications and is working toward her Master of Arts degree in communication studies.