Autism and GAPS Diet, Picky Eater!

Gavin has never had GI problems. He usually makes a bowel movement a few times a day and he has always been like this. He was only constipated a handful of times in his five years of life.

For this reason, we don’t believe fully that he has any problems with his gut. We tried inulin once, and it actually made his bowel movements a strange green color, hard and chalky, and that helped tally up those times of constipations in his life. I’d try it again now though since he is a little older to see what would happen.

We tried nystatin even though he had an OATS test that was negative for yeast. It did seem to help because I think it was reducing inflammation, but not necessarily getting rid of yeast.

He has been dairy free for over two years now, but I am not sure if it has made a difference. A few times we gave him regular yogurt again or tried cottage cheese again. Maybe we will just bring it all back.

The GAPS diet has been the only interesting diet that does seem to have helped a lot of kids (and adults) but many of these things he is just not ready to eat.

  • Focusing on fruits and vegetables: A 2016 study involving 122 people showed that eating fruits and vegetables can prevent a potentially harmful strain of bacteria from growing in the gut.
  • Including probiotics: Probiotics contain many beneficial bacteria. One study suggests that eating probiotic yogurt may help lower blood sugar levels among people with metabolic syndrome.

Stage 1

In stage 1, the diet consists of:

  • homemade meat stock
  • boiled meat or fish
  • well-cooked vegetables
  • probiotics, such as fermented vegetable juices, yogurt or kefir, and homemade fermented whey
  • ginger or chamomile tea with raw honey
  • purified water

Stage 2

In stage 2, add the following foods:

  • raw, organic egg yolks
  • casseroles made with meats and vegetables
  • fermented fish
  • homemade ghee

Stage 3

In stage 3, add the following foods:

  • avocado
  • sauerkraut and fermented vegetables
  • GAPS pancakes
  • scrambled eggs made with ghee, goose fat, or duck fat
  • probiotic supplements

Stage 4

In stage 4, add the following foods:

  • roasted or grilled meats
  • cold-pressed olive oil
  • freshly pressed carrot juice
  • GAPS milkshake
  • GAPS bread

Stage 5

In stage 5, add the following foods:

  • cooked apple purée
  • raw vegetables, such as lettuce and peeled cucumber
  • pressed fruit juice

Stage 6

In stage 6, add the following foods:

  • raw, peeled apple
  • raw fruit
  • increase honey
  • baked goods sweetened with dried fruit

After completing the introduction diet, many people move onto the full GAPS diet.

2. The full GAPS diet

During the GAPS diet, avoid all grains, sugars, starchy vegetables, refined carbohydrates, and processed foods. This stage lasts 18–24 months but is individualized and may require less time for some.

Acceptable GAPS foods include:

  • eggs
  • meat, fish, and shellfish (fresh or frozen only)
  • fresh vegetables and fruit
  • garlic
  • natural fats, such as olive oil, coconut oil, and ghee
  • a moderate amount of nuts
  • GAPS baked goods made using nut flour

The GAPS diet also recommends that people:

  • use organic food as often as possible
  • avoid all processed and packaged foods
  • eat fermented food with every meal
  • drink bone broth with every meal
  • avoid eating fruit with meals
  • combine all protein food with vegetables, which the theory says will keep body acidity levels normal

People can eat the following foods on the GAPS diet:

  • meat stock (cooked shorter than broth and contains less glutamates)
  • meats, preferably hormone-free or grass-fed
  • fish
  • shellfish
  • animal fats
  • eggs
  • fresh fruits and non-starchy vegetables
  • fermented foods and beverages
  • hard, natural cheeses
  • kefir
  • coconuts, coconut milk, and coconut oil
  • nuts
  • dry wine
  • white navy beans

Foods to avoid on the GAPS diet include:

  • sugar and artificial sweeteners
  • syrups
  • alcohol, but adults can have a glass of dry wine occasionally
  • processed and packaged foods
  • grains such as rice, corn, wheat, and oats
  • starchy vegetables, such as potatoes and yams
  • milk
  • beans, except white and greens beans
  • coffee
  • strong tea
  • soy

Sample GAPS diet meal plan

Start the day with one of the following:

  • a glass of filtered lemon water and kefir
  • a glass of freshly pressed fruit and vegetable juice

For breakfast:

  • GAPS pancakes topped with butter or honey
  • one cup of lemon and ginger tea

For lunch:

  • meat or fish with vegetables
  • one cup of homemade meat stock
  • one serving of probiotics, such as kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt, or kefir

For dinner:

  • homemade vegetable soup made with meat stock
  • one serving of probiotics, such as kimchi, sauerkraut, yogurt, or kefir