“Food sensitivity” is likely to take on a whole new meaning when you embark on the venture of trying to find out which foods may be triggering some or all the erratic behavior you are seeing in your child. This process, called an elimination diet, can be made easier if you know the foods that are a common culprit when investigating food sensitivities in children with neurodevelopmental issues. Here are five of the top ten most common food offenders or foods that most commonly cause issues:
This cluster of proteins found in certain grains, most notably wheat, is the most common food sensitivity associated with brain imbalance. Kids with leaky gut cannot properly digest gluten, and the molecules can escape the gut, creating all kinds of stomach upset.
2. Dairy Products
Casein, a substance found in milk, including both cow’s and goat’s milk, is likely the cause of most dairy sensitivities. Dairy and gluten are chemically very similar, so if your child has a problem with one, he most likely have a problem with both.
The trouble with eggs is that they are mucous forming, and mucous is not well tolerated by a leaky gut. We may not think we eat a lot of them but we do, because they appear in so many foods, especially baked goods.
4. Baker’s and Brewer’s Yeast
If your child has been exposed to a lot of antibiotics and has a lot of yeast infections, he or she could have developed a sensitivity to the proteins found in baker’s and brewer’s yeast. This is ingredient is more common than you would think so be sure to read labels!
5. Legumes (Beans and Peas)
Beans are not easy to digest and can wreak havoc on a leaky gut. However, chickpeas and peanut butter (if your child does not have a peanut allergy) are exceptions and more easily digested than other legumes.
The most important foods for a child with these types of disorders are a variety of vegetables, fruits, nuts, and seeds to improve microbiota diversity and support gut immune tolerance.
For the rest of the list and more information on each food offender, check out page 44 of my book, “The Disconnected Kids Nutrition Plan.” Also in the book are sensitive-foods-free recipes – all taste-tested by kids, including some of the most finicky eaters we’ve ever met. All the recipes are gluten free and virtually all are free of casein. With a few exceptions, these dishes avoid all the foods on our 10 Most Wanted List. We love these recipes and trust you will too!