Diet List For Autistic Children



Autism has become epidemic in the industrialized societies; autism was relatively rare until the early 1990s, after which its prevalence increased by at least 3-5 times.

Conventional medicine has largely failed in the treatment of autistic individuals. Recently the Autism Research Institute and its Defeat Autism Now! (DAN!) initiative, have successfully advanced medical management of autism to the degree that some children largely recover and can have somewhat normal lives. Modifying the diet and the gastrointestinal system is the most important part of this integrative therapy. We hope that this diet list will help the management of these children.


MEAT (should not be, without fat and overcooked)

Red meat (free ranged animal meat to be preferred instead of fed animal meat) traditional soujuk, preserve of fried meat, pastrami, etc. can be eaten. Salami and sausage are forbidden because of added preservatives.

White meat: Country chicken and other poultry animals should be preferred (cooking country chicken takes longer time)

Offal: Very beneficial. Be careful that they are uninfected.

Sea-foods (fish, mussel and shrimps) are strictly prohibited, because of heavy metal. The ones produced at artificial basins are also prohibited because they contain toxins.
Chlorella or spirullina can be eaten; they can trap heavy metals with their high level chlorophyll.


Best quality source of protein. Country eggs should be preferred. 1-4 eggs can be eaten daily. According to preference order: 1-Raw (if you are sure that they are free from infections!), 2-Soft-boiled, 3-Hard-boiled, 4- Fried (if possible it should not be eaten, otherwise it should be fried at olive oil, hazelnut oil or butter; first its albumin is fried, then yolk should be added as uncooked).


Any kind can be eaten. They should mostly be consumed raw. Dark green leaves are rich in vitamin K, calcium and magnesium, in addition to omega 3 fatty acids. Wild herbs (mallow, sheep’s sorrel, stinging nettle, patience’s dock) are perfect because they are grown in a natural way. Purslane is the most important omega-3 resource among vegetables.

As greener as the vegetables are they contain higher level chlorophyll, which means they can detoxify heavy metals and toxins. If urinary oxalate levels are high, limit the vegetables and fruits rich in oxalate (egg plant, spinach, unpeeled cucumber, blackberries, blueberries, kiwi, beets, green beans, parsley, green peppers, sweet potatoes etc.)

Fried potatoes should not be eaten at all. Small amount of potatoes can be added to vegetable meals (because of high sugar content).

Garlic: One of the most important foods for preventing the cells from oxidation. Because of its complex sulfurous content, it can help heavy metal detoxification. Squash garlic (do not swallow) and consume it latest within one hour. With its high level of sulfur content, onion is also as precious as garlic. Plenty of both should be eaten.

Olives: It should be desalinated as much as possible. Green olive should be preferred.

Fruits: Fruits with phenol content, such as apple, grapes, and strawberry should not be consumed too much. Fruits rich in sugar, such as apricot, grapes, and banana should be eaten in limited quantity. Fruits poor in sugar should be consumed more (fresh ones should be preferred). Dried fruits should be checked that they are without mold.


At least 95% of autistic patients’ digestive systems are disordered because of heavy metals and other toxins.

Therefore, big molecules at casein (milk coagulated, cheese, and yogurt without watery part), gluten (wheat protein) and soy protein, can not be digested to become smaller participles as amino acids, hence they are transferred to blood as is and destroy immune system and brain functioning ways.

When this undigested foods’ protein participles transfer to blood, they show opiate effect by increasing (bodily produced little amount of) free opiate.

This opiate complexion (exorphine) plays important role in formation of almost at every autistic’s loss of eye contact, decreasing at learning skills, hyperactivity, stereotypic behaviors, self-stimulation (harming self), and similar signs.

With diet, blood levels of these opiates decreases and also clinic findings become less severe at similar level.

Cutting off gluten/casein sharply can cause deficiency syndrome (like opiate addiction). Most of the autistics have already extreme addiction to foods with gluten (made from wheat flour) and casein (dairy products).

Therefore, starting these two diets at the same time is not correct. First, casein is to be eliminated. Diet, generally shows its positive effects within two weeks. Clean up the casein totally takes 1 – 2 year/s.

Butter and cream can be eaten. Traditionally produced watery part of yogurt and kefir do not have too much casein. Their casein mostly is broken into pieces by enzymes produced by the probiotics.

Cow and sheep milks have A1 type casein and this casein transforms to case-morphine. However, human, horse, camel and goat milks have A2 type casein and this kind of transformation does not happen.

Cow and sheep milks and products of the same (yogurt, cheese and ext..) should not be consumed. However, kefir and watery part of yogurt made from the same milk can be eaten. Goat, horse, camel milk and products of the same (yogurt, cheese, kefir) can be consumed.

Gluten free diet should be started gradually and 2-4 weeks after casein free diet. Elimination of gluten from diet should be complete within 1-3 months. Effects of gluten free diet starts late, its effects can be seen at earliest at 3 months and its total clean up from the body takes 1-2 years.

Application of gluten free diet is very difficult. Because other than bakery products, it can be found as hidden in many ready food.

Autistics should not consume grains like wheat, rye, oats, and other products made from them (bread, cake, cookies, bulgur, pasta, noodles, vermicelli, soups with flour).

Corn and rice, as well as products made from gluten free flour can be consumed. Genetically modified corns should not be eaten.

Also rice, gluten free flour and corn should not be consumed too much, because their fast releasing sugar level is high and by increasing insulin resistance, they cause metabolic syndrome called as hidden contemporary disease.

There are a lot of different brands with their different range of gluten-free products.

Even if the result of a food allergy test is negative, diet can be beneficial. Therefore, having a test done is waste of money.
Elimination of some food from the diet such as milk, wheat, oat, barley and soy cause no harm (vitamin and mineral deficiency), on the contrary, their elimination has a lot of benefits.


The milk used for kefir is boiled and lukewarm in non-metal pan (preferably glass) (if milk is clean, no need to boil). Clotted cream on the top to be removed, 1 tablespoon of kefir yeast is added and milk is stirred well.

Lid is put on the pan and milk pan is put on a place at 20-25oC. The pan used for fermentation is put on nearby to oven or heater. If environment heat is low, the pan is covered with cloth. Heat of the pan is to be 20-30oC.

The milk in the pan can be coagulated after 18-24 hours. If temperature is low or the ferment amount is less, this fermentation delays. Fermented milk is strained through a non-metal or fabric strainer. The parts left on the strainer can be used as ferment again.

If not to be used immediately, kefir ferments should be refrigerated in a glass jar. Some people wash the particles of kefir ferment before storing.

If you want to wash the particles of kefir ferment, you should use non-chlorine water in order not to harm the ferment. In order to store, water should be added to jar at the level of the particles.


Milk has high calcium level (120-130 mg/dL), but since its rate of calcium/phosphorus is high such as 1:1, it cannot be absorbed well.

At breast-milk, this ratio is 2:1 and even its calcium level is low (30 mg/dL), its absorption is perfect.

The ratio of calcium and magnesium in milk and dairy products change approximately between 8:1 and 12:1.

Normally, the ratio of calcium and magnesium should not be more than 2:1.

Legumes (chickpeas, beans, lentils, peas, black-eyed bean and ext.) should not be eaten more than 2-3 times in a week. They should be soaked for 48 hours and their water should be changed at every 12 hours, and should be cooked at low fire (if it is possible in earthenware cooking pot).


It is not as much as healthy as it is known. It reduces digestion of protein, and calcium, iron, and zinc absorption at gut. Can destroy thyroid hormone synthesis. Can cause, early sign of puberty, infertility and menstruation disorders. Also it can be cause for allergies and autistic signs.

NUTS WITH SHELLS (walnut, hazelnut, pistachio, sunflower seed, cabbage seed, almond etc).

They have rich amino acids (tyrosine, tyrptophane, phenylalanine and ext.) and minerals (zinc, selenium, magnesium and ext.). 1-2 full-hand/s daily (25-50 gram) is very beneficial. They should be preferred as raw and low-salted.


Limitation of fats is harmful for the body. Contrary to known, foods with less fat but with high sugar levels, make people get much more hungry and fat.

Margarine: Strictly prohibited.

Liquid oils from seeds (sun-flower, cotton, corn, soy and ext..): They should not be used or used very little. They destroy the ratio of omega-6/omega-3 to the benefit of Omega-6. These hot pressed produced oils have oxidative characteristics.

Olive Oil: Perfect!. Especially extra virgin olive oil should be preferred.
Second option is Riviera.

Hazelnut Oil: Like Riviera. Most of them at shelves are mixed with other oils. Good quality type is expensive and not better than virgin olive oil.

Butter: Perfect! If it is possible it should be preferred from free-range animals (country butter). Be aware of fake butter (coated on margarine) in the market. Fakes melts in a longer time in room temperature and leave much more marks on knife.

Fish oil: Elixir of life! Mainly contains Omega-3 fatty acid. Everybody (pregnant, baby, young, and old) should take it. At autistic kids, Omega-3 fatty acids (EPA+DEHA) are quite low and they should take 1500-3000 mg fish oil (EPA+DEHA) daily. Fish oil does not increase weight and can be used summer and winter. Cod liver oil contains vitamin D, because of this reason it should not be used during summer. Otherwise, it can cause overload of vitamin D.

Flaxseed: After fish-oil, it is a second important source for omega-3. First, roast slightly and ground it, then pour 2-3 dessertspoons on the top of main dishes, yogurt and salads. Power of its omega-3 is only 1/10 of fish oil.

Fried foods: Because of their oxidation to the body cells, they are harmful. If it is a must to eat, then it should be done with butter, olive oil or hazelnut oil. In order to decrease their harmful effects, eat yogurt with garlic and green vegetables on side.


All of them are beneficial. Coffees are prohibited, only Turkish coffee can be drunk but without exaggeration.


They are quite beneficial and rich with probiotics. Because of high content of betain (DMG) beet pickle is very beneficial especially for autistics. Lessen the salt of pickles (while preparing the pickles use lemon salt, ascorbic acid or vinegar, instead of salt). Vinegar (especially extra grape vinegar, balsamic vinegar) is very beneficial.


Salt, as naturally exist in the foods is enough for our body demand. Very little amount of salt can be added while cooking foods.


Because of their vitamin, mineral and antioxidants, they are very beneficial. Be careful they should not be molded.


Most of the autistic kids have dysfunctional gut flora.
At these individuals, pathogenic bacterias (especially clostridiums), yeasts (especially candida) and parasites grow extremely. These pathogenic microorganisms destroy digestion of foods and cause formation of different kind of toxins.

Diet, poor on flour and sugar and rich on natural foods such as vegetable, fruit, meat and egg does not destroy gut flora protection.

Fermented products (pickles, kefir, cheese, wine, boza, vinegar) increase probiotics at the gut flora.

Probiotics, in yogurts which do not turn to be sour and pasteurized milks, sold at markets have been greatly damaged.


Refined sugars (tea-sugar, fructose) and product made with them (bakery products, biscuits, wafers, ‘baklava’, kataif, cakes) should be reduced in great amount.

Chocolate: Consumption of chocolate should be decreased. Once a week, medium size, bitter type (without milk) can be eaten. [Autistics] with normal and low cooper level can consume more chocolate. The most positive side of chocolate is its richness in magnesium.

Honey: It can be eaten one or two teaspoon/s. Because of their sugar level, ordinary honey and any type of jam should not be eaten. 95 % of honey in market is not natural. Any kind of molasses made only from fruit sugar can be eaten.

Sweeteners and any diet product made out of with sweeteners should not be eaten. Especially aspartame (found at diet coke, sugar free gum and many diet foods) can cause many side effects, including depression.


Any kind is prohibited. Homemade fresh fruit juice (with pulp) can be drunk. As a cold drink, laban (ayran), kefir, boza, turnip juice, or root of licorice plant drink are advised.


Lentil, white-bean, chickpea, green bean, peas and ext..

  • Hard-shelled fruits like walnut, hazelnut, pistachio, almond, and etc.
  • Citrus, apricots, blackberry, cornelian cherry, cherry, sour cherry, fruit of the beam tree, red and black grapes and other fruits.
  • Cabbages, cauliflower, spinach, chard, radish, beet leaves, turnip, mustard leaves, mint, parsley and any other wild and eatable herbs.
  • Garlic, onion, and leek
  • Nuts with hard shells
  • Meat
  • Egg

Drink as much as water until color of your urine not dark. Do not drink cold water. First preference is natural springs water rich in some minerals. But they can contain some heavy metals. As usual, if you are not sure about ingredients of the water, then filter it with a help of quality filter.

Do not drink water with meals, because it decreases the effects of digestive liquids by diluting them. Half an hour before and after meal you can drink water. It is advised to drink one or two glass/es of water before sleeping.


Foods should be cooked with their own water slowly; traditional ways (steamed way) and oven with turbo can be used. This way does not harm their nutrition harmed too much.

Fast cooking ways (such as microwave) cause loss of nutrition, and can be carcinogenic.

Do not consume frozen foods too much.

If it is possible, do not consume preserved foods at all (except home made).
Do not wrap hot foods with aluminum foils.


Prefer earthenware or glass pots.
Enameled and steel pots are next preferences.
Teflon and aluminum types should never be used.


At the beginning of diet, blood sugar level can decrease, because of this, eat more frequently. Within 1-2 weeks insulin level get regulated and eating 3 times a day (4-5 times for kids) will be enough. Chew bites well.

Eat well at breakfast, but you should eat light at dinner. Divide food portions approximately as follows: morning (3), lunch (2), dinner (1); or Morning (2), Snack (1), Lunch (1), Snack (1), Dinner (1). If possible, do not eat after 19.00-20.00. Do not sleep with full stomach.


After every meal, if it is not possible, before sleeping, brush your teeth for 2-3 minutes and do not swallow toothpaste.

Do not use toothpaste with fluoride until being sure that kids will not swallow the toothpaste.

Do not supplement kids with fluoride tablets because sodium fluoride is toxic. It is found that fluoride can cause autism symptoms.

Fluoride in foods and drinks (calcium fluoride) is natural and they are not toxic.

There are a lot of research findings showing that fluorine does not decrease tooth cavity.

Keep in mind that the most important reason of tooth cavity is foods with flour and sugar.

Do not have amalgam fillings made, as amalgam contains mercury.

Do not forget that eating medium hard and hard foods effect tooth development positively and liquid consumption prevents healthy tooth development.


At least half an hour rapid walking should be done or run slowly and stairs to be climbed as two stairs at once. Physical exercises should be done at least 3-5 minutes. Physical activities that are causing tiredness should be avoided. Exercise levels should be gradually increased. Do all daily exercises that you can do everyday. Breathing fresh air increases oxygen level at your cells. Physical activity and deep breathing increase brain blood and functions.


Vitamin D is a protection for bone illness, rheumatism illness, cancer (including skin cancer!) and other chronic illnesses. Do not stay under the sun too much (especially between 11:00-13:00) during summer while having sunbath with swimsuit. Get sun tan in a balance way, do not burn yourself.

Vitamin D level is usually low (normal range 40-120 ng/mL) at autistic kids. 1000-2000 units of vitamin D per day should be used after their blood levels are brought to normal.


If possible sleep before 22:00. Sleep not less than 5 and not more than 9 hours. Do not forget, for a good sleep, your stomach should be empty.


Auto exhaust
Amalgam tooth fillings
Drinking waters
Ear and nose drops
Some vaccines (hepatit B, HiB, flue)
Contact lens lotions
Fabric softener
Talk powder
Wooden preservatives
Floor waxes and polishes


Auto Exhaust
Waters reaching home through lead pipes
Permanent lipsticks
Vinyl school bags
School materials
Textile colors
Drinking waters


Cooking pans
Drinking waters
Vaccines such as Pneumococus, Hepatitis A, HPV


• Sulphates help to detoxifying of heavy metals and strengthen immune system.
• Most of the autistic kids have low magnesium and sulphate levels.
• When put into the water magnesium sulphate dissolves into magnesium and sulphate.
• Both of the molecules are absorbed by skin. The effect of sulphate lasts for 7-8 hours.
• Fill the bathtub with bearable hot water and add water with magnesium sulphate.
• Initially use half tea glass of magnesium sulphate powder and then increase it to 1-3 tea glasses (100- 200g) as can be tolerated.
• Side effects: Reduce the dose in case of restlessness and hyperactivity.
• Staying in bathtub should be at least 20 minutes.
• If desired you may not get rinsed and dried after the bath.
• Magnesium sulphate stays as white powder on your skin and its effect continues.

Prof. Dr. Ahmet Aydın ( )

English translation by: Hatice Günayer Şenel


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