When it comes to food, the holidays can be exceedingly difficult for our children on the spectrum along with their parents. Many of us have grown up in homes where we equate the holidays with baking sweets. So many delicious recipes have been passed down from generation to generation leading us to ask, “how can we possibly celebrate our very special time of the year without our traditional confections?” I had one mom tell me that she spells the word ‘love’, F-O-O-D!
Well, for our children on the spectrum it is time to make NEW traditions, as the old traditions just will not work for them. The main problem here is of course, sugar. In many of our children, sugar causes a myriad of problems that include hyperactivity, irritability/tantrums, interruption of sleep patterns, promotion of the growth of yeast and other harmful pathogens, and is even known to decrease immune response to infections. All told, these children WILL regress with all the holiday sweets assuring the parents and families anything but a jolly holiday season!
So, what do parents and families do with respect to diet during this holiday season? Stay firm and hold fast to the diets YOU KNOW are working for your children. A little “cheat” here and there equates to potentially dumping into your child a little “neuro-toxin.” You are fighting so very hard to recover your child to the highest level he or she can possibly be, why would you let anyone intentionally do harm to your child in the form of sugar under the guise that a little “cheat” won’t hurt?
Bottom line: Enjoy your family’s holiday traditions to the fullest…but without our customary sugar feast.
Our family wishes yours a most meaningful Holiday Season and a very happy and healthy New Year.
Dr. Jerry Kartzinel, M.D.