Autism and the Specific Carbohydrate Diet

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Food Preparation



Topics:

Homemade vs. Storebought
Transitioning a Child to the SCD™
ASD Intro Diet
Beyond the Intro Diet
Sample Menu
Cooking Tips
Kitchen Equipment
Links to SCD™ Ingredients and Ready-made Foods
Fermented Foods Coming Soon!




Homemade vs. Storebought


There are a number of reasons why homemade items are necessary for SCD™ instead of the "convenient" store-bought items.

  1. The 2% rule: There is a rule that allows some ingredients that constitute less than 2% of the total weight or volume unnecessary to report on the ingredient list. This can include sugar and other illegal ingredients, since these do not fall under the list of usual allergens.
  2. Store-bought products often pass through many sets of hands before they are put in the final package. For example, some juice concentrates can be made in one plant and then shipped to another plant where water is added and then they are bottled. The final producer can "honestly" say they did not add any illegals but what about the first producer of the concentrate. The original concentrate does not even have to be made in the same country as the final bottler.
  3. Commercial producers are not bound to report some of the ingredients listed in their foods. They can use processing aides, enzymes etc., that are used in the production of the food but are not technically an ingredient. When you make foods for your children you know "exactly" what you are putting into it.
  4. Buying foods such as cookies that are not listed on this site as suitable SCD™ products, can lead to trouble. Some producers may unintentionally use illegal ingredients. For example, a commercial producer uses honey that is not pure (i.e., cut with corn syrup) but includes honey on the ingredient list. The end result is that your child is unknowingly ingesting illegals.
  5. Some companies blatantly lie about the ingredients in their products.

Tips to ease the transition from the use of commercial products to homemade foods:

  1. Make large batches of items, for freezing or canning.
  2. Contact local volunteer services to have someone assist in the weekly preparation of foods.
  3. If finances allow hire a part-time cook/chef.
  4. Contact other local SCD'ers for local ingredients that are legal.


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Transitioning a Child to the SCD

Broadly speaking, there are two ways to go about this: cold turkey or gradual. What you choose depends on your child and your circumstances. However, regardless of what you decide, here are some tips that can make the transition a smooth one.

  • Attitude is key. Kids pick up on our lack of confidence, our nervousness, our uncertainty. Before beginning the diet, take a moment to get excited about what you are about to do. Believe, without question, that it will reap all the great rewards you have been hearing about. Do not think about how you are "depriving" your child, instead become enthusiastic for how you will be giving your child the gift of health. Accept that it might be hard at first, that your child might resist, but that you will stand firm and confident that this is the right road for you to take.

  • In most cases children adjust and accept the diet more easily if the whole house is SCD™ and there are no illegals to be had. In addition to eliminating the the risk of infraction, without any illegals available there is less chance that the child will go on a hunger strike hoping you will cave in.

  • Don't be surprised and alarmed if behaviours and stools get worse before they get better. Usually this is die-off, an indication that the diet is helping your child. If the stools and behaviours continue beyond 10 days consider possibilities other than die-off such as too much fruit.

  • Transitions and changes in routine are difficult for many ASD children. It could help to spend a few days (or a week, whatever is appropriate for your child) explaining the changes you will be making in their food choices beginning on a specified day. Again, convey a positive attitude about this. When that day comes, you should have the food selection look as enticing as possible.

  • For some children, it could help to explain why you are doing SCD™. If he/she has overt diarhea, mushy stools, or constipation, a simple explanation could be that this diet helps people's bellies feel better, or makes their poops healthy. For those without overt digestive problems, an explanation could be that the SCD is a healthy diet that the family is going to follow.

  • While many parents ultimately decide to keep their child on SCD™ indefinately, some children, when starting the diet, feel better if they know that they won't be giving up their beloved foods forever. You could explain that you are going to try this diet for X amount of time (3 months, 3 years etc.) and then you'll decide about whether or not to continue. (At which point many kids feel better and won't mind staying on it.)
    One mother made a 100-year timeline, assuming a 100-year lifespan, and showed what 2 years looks like. Then she explained that if they followed the diet for that tiny period of time, her son would gradually be able to eat more and more different foods. If they didn't do the diet, he would likely remain intolerant to many foods and would spend the rest of his life having to go everywhere with special foods.

  • Some parents have reported that, for hunger strikers, it helps to have as wide a variety of legal foods readily available. Eventually the child will choose something. The one thing to be careful of with this approach is that you don't keep offering your child a new food everytime he rejects something. This pattern might lead a child to believe that he can continue to hold out until you start offering illegals. It is best to, physically or verbally, lay out all their choices at one time.

  • Those familiar with ABA techniques have reported using a social or toy-based rewards system for encouraging their child to eat legal foods.

  • Those who have been previously using food-based rewards systems in ABA programs should phase those out prior to starting SCD™ in favor of non-food rewards.

  • It is well-known that there are few pre-manufactured legal foods. Consult elaineschildren or the recipe section of this website to find a good substitute for any pre-manufactured foods that your child will be giving up. For example, legal sausage can often be made up by a butcher or by following the recipe in Lucy's Cookbook. However, some kids initially find these substituted foods to be unacceptable. Attempting the switch only makes them upset or angry at the diet. For these children, it is best, obviously, to find entirely new foods that they will like.

From Elaine:

So often those first weeks are so very perplexing and worrisome. But when you think that you are giving the child what is probably the most nutritious diet in the world - the kind of food to which man's biological machinery is truly compatible with, and when you think that the entire world of trillions of microorganisms (bacteria and yeast) are undergoing dramatic transformations, hang in there, try not to worry (you are doing only good) and you will see the light at the end of the tunnel.

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ASD Intro Diet

Since the many of the children with ASD were casein free before beginning the SCD™, here is a list of suggested foods for the intro diet. The intro diet should be followed for 2-5 days.

Chicken broth
--Chicken broth with pureed cooked carrots
--Chicken broth with chunks of cooked chicken
--Chicken broth with cooked carrot sliced into little "coins"
--Chicken broth with "chicken balls" made from ground chicken
--Chicken broth with "noodles" made from beaten eggs cooked omelette-style into a "crepe" and then rolled up and thinly sliced
--Chicken egg-drop soup

Chicken pancakes
Roasted chicken

Roasted turkey

Beef broth
--Beef broth with meatballs made from ground beef

Hamburger patties

Eggs
--scrambled
--poached
--hard-boiled
--soft-boiled
--sunny side up
--deviled eggs made with homemade mayo

Homemade jello (made from unflavored real gelatin and purple and/or white grape juice)
Made in a shallow pan and cut with shaped cookie cutters or into cubes


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Beyond the Intro Diet

This chart is a guide to introducing foods after the Intro Diet.
As with all things, individual tolerance to foods will vary.
This guide is to reinforce the need for gradual introduction of new foods into the diet.
  1. Never feed a child a food which has previously caused an anaphylactic reaction.

  2. Introduce new foods one at a time.
    This will make it possible determine whether each new food can be tolerated.

  3. This chart is based on the healing process that is taking place.
    It is not based on a timeline.
    Some people may be able to add new foods more quickly than others.

  4. This list of foods is not all inclusive.
    Please check BreakingTheViciousCycle.info for a list of legal/illegal foods.

  5. Oil/butter may be used to prevent sticking when preparing pancakes.
    Oil/butter may be used in any recipe that calls for it.
    Oil/butter can also be used when cooking meat or vegetables.

    The suggestion to avoid frying foods early in the diet was made due the difficulty
    that kids on our list were having with deep fried foods.

* Note: For those with strictures (narrowed ileums) certain foods may aggravate the narrowed portions of the ileum.
These foods include raw grapes, lots of raisins, spaghetti squash, celery, vegetable and fruit peels, whole nuts (nut flour or nut butter seems to be okay). Please also see Obstructions and Resections from Elaine's website.

Again, this chart was created in an effort to help parents remember to introduce foods slowly and feed only well-tolerated foods.


Stage 1

FRUITS
Peeled, deseeded & well cooked

Apple
(applesauce)
Pear
(pearsauce)

Raw
Banana
(very ripe with spots)


Stage 2

FRUITS
Peeled, deseeded & well cooked

Apricot
Peach
Pineapple
Plum
Tomato

Raw
Avocado
Stage 3

FRUITS
Peeled, deseeded & well cooked

Blueberry
Blackberry
Cherry
Date
Elderberry
Fig
Gooseberry
Kumquat
Passion Fruit
Raisin
Strawberry
Stage 4

FRUITS
Raw, peeled
* (see note above the chart)


Apple
Apricot
Canteloupe
Elderberry
Grapefruit
Grapes* (see note)
Kiwi Fruit
Kumquat
Lemon
Lime
Mango
Orange
Papaya
Passion Fruit
Peach
Pear
Persimmon
Pineapple
Pomegranate
Plum
Tangerine
Tomato
Watermelon
Stage 5

FRUITS
Raw

Apple
Apricot
Blueberry
Blackberry
Cherry
Date
Elderberry
Fig
Gooseberry
Grapes
Olive
Peach
Pear
Persimmon
Plum
Raisin
Strawberry
Tomato
VEGETABLES
Peeled, deseeded & well cooked

Carrot
Green Beans

(Especially French Cut )
Spinach
Zucchini
VEGETABLES
Peeled, deseeded & well cooked

Acorn Squash
Artichoke-french
Asparagus
Buttercup Squash
Butternut Squash
Cucumber
Garlic
Mushroom
Peppers
Pumpkin
Watercress
VEGETABLES
Peeled
(as appropriate),
& cooked


Beet
Bok Choy
Broccoli
Brussels Sprouts
Cabbage
Cauliflower
Celeriac
Celery*(see note)
Chinese Cabbage
Collards
Eggplant
Kale
Leek
Lettuce
Lima Beans-Fresh
Olive
Onion
Parsley
Pea
Peppers
Rhubarb
Shallots
Snow Peas
Spaghetti Squash*
Sugar Snap Peas
Swiss Chard
Watercress
VEGETABLES
Raw


Bok Choy
Broccoli
Cabbage
Carrot
Cauliflower
Celeriac
Celery
Chinese Cabbage
Collard
Cucumber
Daikon Radish
Kale
Leek
Lettuce
Mushroom
Olive
Onion
Peppers
Radish
Rhubarb
Shallots
Snow Peas
Sugar Snap Peas
Spinach
Swiss Chard
Watercress
MEATS
Boiled/Broiled
MEATS
Baked
MEATS
Pan Fried
MEATS
Battered/Deep Fried
MEATS
Dried Jerky
NUTS
Nut Butters
Nut Milk
NUTS
Nut Flour
NUTS
Whole Nuts
EGGS
Any Style


BEANS
Cooked
(prepared according to BTVC)


Haricot Beans
Lentils
Lima Beans
Navy Beans
Split Peas
BEANS
Cooked
(prepared according to BTVC)


Black beans
Kidney Beans

















































































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Sample Menu

Breakfast ideas:

Banana pancakes
Pear pancakes
Butternut squash pancakes
Nut butter pancakes
Nut butter cake/muffins
Scrambled or boiled eggs
Dairy free smoothies
Pear sauce


Lunch and Dinner ideas:

Broiled hamburger patty
Baked Chicken
Chicken Pancakes
Sneaky muffins with chicken w/o flour
Chicken carrot soup
Well steamed carrots, pureed if preferred
Mashed butternut squash
Squash French fries
Carrot curls/chips
Egg pizza
Snack ideas:

Nut butter cake w/o flour
Pear sauce
Apple sauce
Ripe bananas
Squash French fries
Carrot curls/chips
Nut butter muffins
Boiled eggs
Dairy free smoothie




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Cooking Tips

Baked Goods

Baking with almond flour requires a little experience, trial and error. Generally, you need to use a lower temperature or your baked goods will tend to easily burn. Try adjusting the oven temperature down about 10 degrees or so under what is called for and making sure to place the item on the middle rack. You may then need a slightly longer baking time. Watch items closely until they look solid and slightly brown without being burned, then make a note for next time of time and temp used. Recipes made with hazelnut flour tend to turn out moister and mushier than almond flour. Try following the rule of "lower the temperature by 25 degrees and cook a little longer."

To keep baked goods from falling, or being over baked on the outside and gooey in the middle.

For cakes, try putting foil over the top with an "X" cut in the center. Carefully pull back the center of the foil so that the middle of the cake is exposed to the heat.

For loaves of bread (banana, zucchini, etc.), place the glass loaf pan on top of an aluminum cookie sheet. Try using brown paper (cut from a grocery store sack) or baking parchment to put over the loaf pan as a protective “hood”. Then, bake at a lower-than-recommended temp for a longer time (a loaf of soft cinnamon raisin bread may bake for more than an hour). About five minutes before the loaf is done, take the paper hood off and let the top brown.

Try baking cake recipes in a shallow, rectangular, glass baking pan (Pyrex). Grease well with butter or coconut oil and spread out the usually sticky batter as evenly as possible, thinner than you might in a smaller pan. Try baking about 20 minutes at 325 F. Thinner cakes bake faster, and are more likely to bake through at the center. Stack layers with frosting between for a taller end result.

For crispier cookies, remove from baking sheet to cool on folded brown paper bags (these soak up excess grease). When entire batch is finished baking, the oven has been turned off and somewhat cooled down, taste-test and decide whether or not your cookies are softer than you’d prefer. If they are, return cookies to the oven by placing them (brown bags and all) back on the oven racks to rest, dry out and crisp up. This may take an hour….. or perhaps overnight if you forget they’re in there! Place a sticky note in plain view that says “Don’t forget the cookies!”

Dairy Free Cooking

Substitutions for Butter

Coconut oil can be used as a replacement when butter is called for in a recipe such as a piecrust. It has similar properties, being solid at room temperature like butter. Coconut oil is not damaged by the heat of cooking and has very little flavor of it’s own. Two brand names to look for are Spectrum (refined, food grade) and Omega Nutrition. Ask at your local health food store. Spectrum also makes a natural palm oil shortening (non-hydrogenated) that is an excellent alternative.

Olive oil is a very healthy choice that is not damaged by heat, but often has a strong, distinctive taste.

Sunflower or safflower oils work well for baked goods and easy to find in health food stores. They have no noticeable flavor.

In recipes, when substituting liquid oil for butter, you may have to adjust the ratio of wet to dry ingredients, as the oil will sometimes make a wetter batter (in muffins for example).

Egg Free Baking

Baked and pureed butternut or acorn squash, mashed ripe bananas, homemade apple or pearsauce can be used to substitute for eggs in a recipe. If the recipe says 2 eggs, substitute 1/2 cup of the mashed or pureed item.

Another way to replace eggs is to soften a teaspoon of gelatin in 3 tablespoons of boiling water. Stir until the gelatin is completely dissolved. Then, freeze until it has thickened a bit. Beat until frothy. This equals one egg.


Time Savers

The secret to quick cooking is having some of the more "time consuming" things on hand, such as tomato sauce, ketchup, mayonnaise, chicken broth, yogurt...all of the basics that can be combined into wonderful stuff. If you spend an evening, or better yet a weekend, preparing just "staples", your everyday cooking will go a lot easier.

Tomato sauce- Cook down canned tomato juice, use fresh tomatoes, or combine both. Simmer as long as necessary to reduce the amount of liquid and provide the consistency you prefer. If using fresh tomatoes, seeds and skin can be strained out after cooking, either mid-way through the cooking process or at the end.

To make quick work of tomato sauce or ketchup, instead of peeling your tomatoes, just cut them in half and grate cut side down on the large holes of a grater. All that's left is the skin and you don't have to do any chopping later. You can seed them by squishing out the seeds before grating. Boil it down, season to your taste and freeze.

Freeze some whole tomatoes to add to soups, etc. Keeps you from having to run to the store. Wash, dip in boiling water for 30 seconds, slip skins off, then place on a cookie sheet and into the freezer. When they're hard, transfer them to a Ziploc bag. They won't stick together, and you can use as few or many as you need.

Put on a huge stockpot of chicken for chicken broth--while it cooks, you can prepare other things. Then you can make soup, and freeze the remaining broth, pre-measured in half-cup servings to use later. Part of the chicken meat can be cut up and reserved for other main-dish recipes or chicken salad.

Main Dish ideas

Think ahead and do “batch cooking” whenever possible. Get in the habit of buying and preparing twice as much pot roast, chicken or stew meat as needed and stash the leftover in the freezer. You’ll never wonder, “what’s for supper?” again!

Bake large pans of chicken pieces, seasoned according to any favorite SCD recipe with herbs, honey, etc. Later, wrap three or four pieces together in separate packages for freezing. Cook two meatloaves and use the remainder for cold lunchmeat.

Gravy- (with sautéed pork chops, for example): Rub with your choice of spices, and sauté in olive oil and butter (not butter alone, it will burn). Remove chops and deglaze the pan by adding some white wine or chicken broth, and reduce to make a thin sauce. (You could stir in a tbs. of yogurt or French cream to make it richer.) Many kids like this sauce or “gravy” drizzled over meat and cooked vegetables, or served on the side for dipping steamed baby carrots or broccoli “trees”.

Crock Pot Tips

Bring that crock-pot out of the attic, dust it off and start dinner first thing in the morning! You can find good recipes just for crock-pots and use SCD legal ingredients and leave out others.

Meat cooks faster than veggies, so the veggies get cut into 1-2" pieces for a 12 hour pot roast, smaller for a 6 hour chicken. The crock-pot doesn't lose water like in the oven or on top of the stove. You will have more liquid at the end than at the beginning, from what cooks out of the meat and veggies. So don't add much liquid if you don't want soup.

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Kitchen Equipment

SCD™ can be followed without elaborate cooking, The more ambitious cooks will find many recipes for delicious foods in every category. Your healing children, hungry family and unsuspecting friends will enjoy these creations which excel and surpass store bought food in flavor and freshness. Important kitchen tools are listed first and optionals below.

Yogurt Makers
Salton, Yogourmet, and Excalibur dehydrator all make quality yogurt. The Excalibur makes the largest amount, up to 2 gallons (8 liters) of yogurt at once.
A five-quart Nesco roaster will make one gallon of yogurt. Nescos go up to 18 quarts. There are larger roasters from 20 to 22 quarts. They require temperature controls that can be set low enough for yogurt making. Dehydrators (below) make yogurt too.

Dehydrators
Dehydrators are used to dry fruit, vegetables, garlic, onions etc. for use in homemade seasoning mixes, to create jerky and can also be used as a defroster or to crisp crackers and make candies. Certain dehydrators can also be used to make yogurt.
The nine tray Excalibur can be ordered from: Lucy's Kitchen Shop
and a giant commercial dehydrator at: Cabela's

Grinders
A coffee grinder grinds nuts and makes small amounts of nut flour. Larger electric or hand grinders are very useful. Choose a hand grinder with suction feet.
Larger grinders process up to 6 pounds of nuts. Electric types include the Maverick #5 (found at Pierce Chef Mart), the VitaMix and the Northern Tool (which has a reversal blade for finer grinding). Grinders do other tasks: dog food, salad spreads, apple sauce, baby food and meat for sausage.

Food Mill
This is a helpful tool for removing seeds and skins of foods.

Mandolin Slicers (manual)
Excellent slicing and dicing fruits and vegetables and making vegetable chips. The Borner Swiss V slicer with speciality blade inserts is is sold at malls and on the Internet.

Blenders, Hand Held Electric Blenders and Food Processors,
Used to make mayonnaise, "smoothies" and pureed cooked fruit and vegetables which can be stored as ice cubes for convenience Processors such as Cuisinart do many food preparation tasks .

Free-standing and Hand-held mixers Needed for mixing baked goods.

Cooking Thermometer
Needed to monitor temperature during the heating of yogurt milk and candy.

Permanent Coffee Filters
Metal mesh cone shaped filters are good for straining nut milk. Paper coffee filters will strain "dripped" yogurt to the consistency of cream cheese.

Ice Cream Machine, Waffle Makers and Pizelle Irons
Nice specialty options for professional quality results. A pizelle iron looks like a round waffle iron and can be manual or electric. Waffles are an SCD favorite.

Thermal Bags
Portable, inexpensive, and reusable. They keep food hot or cold up to three hours for school lunches or camping.

Baking Equipment
Muffin tins, cookie sheets, non stick Silpak liners, Pyrex baking dishes, paper baking cups, bundt pans and spring form pans are sometimes called for in SCD recipes for baked goods. Baking stones are also nice for baking.

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Links to SCD™ Ingredients and Ready-made Foods

Lucy Rosset has a kitchen shop with many helpful items for following the SCD Diet.
Lucy's Kitchen Shop

Rochel Weiss sells SCD™ ingredients and ready-made food:
Digestive Wellness

J-Gourmet ready-made SCD™ products are available in Southern Ontario, Canada.
J-Gourmet

SCDiet.com has a selection of SCD related items.
SCDiet.com.

Hunter's Honey Farm sells individual honey sticks, honey (Clover and Orange Blosson suitable for SCD), fruit roll-ups and dried apples.
Hunter's Honey Farm.


Nut flours

Almond flour is available from Lucy's Kitchen Shop, Digestive Wellness and SCDiet.com.

Filbert flour is available from Digestive Wellness.

Pecan flour is available from Sunnyland Farms and Digestive Wellness.


Meats

Eat Wild
1/2 a cow can be ordered or less.

Applegate Farms

RealMilk.com


MarthaStewart.com
Order a Country Ham.

House of Hams
Order Virginia country ham, no sugar


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