SCD Protocol

Eat only foods allowed on the diet.
Choose only foods the child can tolerate and digest.

You will be pleasantly surprised to discover a wide range of permissible foods exists on the SCD diet. Not everyone will be able to tolerate every food but tolerance often increases. Some foods that don't seem acceptable at first may be fine later as healing proceeds.

The permitted foods, also called "SCD legal" should be introduced carefully at the beginning to evaluate the child's tolerance level and to determine the proper amounts to feed. The most important thing is to go slowly, adding new things gradually in small amounts and recording the results. This will help you to judge your child's degree of tolerance. If a negative reaction occurs, do not be discouraged. It usually does not take long to rebound from setbacks. Rotation is not required on this diet but it may be tried of a child is very sensitive or limited an the foods he/she will accept.

Link to SCD legal foods.

Explanation of gradual introduction of food

Instructions for introducing foods

How to Introduce Foods

SCD legal foods that are the least well tolerated by beginners are nut products, beans, and peanut butter. Carrots can be difficult for a small subgroup of people. Cashew nuts contain more starch than other nuts and should only be started when the child is doing very well. Peanut butter is a legume (as are beans) and therefore its consumption should be delayed. It has been known to cause many symptoms in ASD children. If a child did not start out with the recommended gradual introduction and skipped to the above, the elimination of such foods will bring dramatic improvements. Other SCD foods may be difficult for your child to digest too. Tolerance for foods varies with every individual.

When doing the intro diet proves very difficult for your child, just proceed to the next step.

Click here to view "The Stages," a useful guideline but not mandatory.

Once your child becomes accustomed to SCD, do go back and do a few days of the "intro." It can mean even better results when you eliminate difficult to digest foods.

WARNING: There is a small subset of children who can only tolerate the basic most easily digested foods. Determined parents have been able to guide even these picky eaters to SCD compliance. Instructions on methods to help children transition to SCD for the first time or from other diets are found on this website.

Use probiotics and/or yogurt. Goat yogurt is the official yogurt of this list. The SCD goat yogurt is not required but brings wonderful results.

Enzymes are not required by SCD but most parents find them to be very helpful.

Vitamins from Freeda as written in BTVC or from another SCD legal brand. A vitamin without added fillers such as cornstarch, glucose, fructose, sucrose, sorbitol, etc. Cellulose: Although added cellulose is not a good idea, it is permitted. Vitamin producers need some kind of filler and cellulose is the least objectionable.

View supplement section

B12 shots(Optional but highly recommended)


IMPORTANT: The premature introduction of nuts can be an extremely serious error. SCD is not a "nut diet." Nuts are an option but not a requirement on this diet. .

Dr. Haas made no specific recommendations about nuts, however Elaine realized they would allow her to prepare baked goods and other foods that usually require flour. ( Many claim recipes containing nuts are even better tasting than ordinary baked goods). Unfortunately, nuts may be difficult to digest for some children during the first months of SCD. If a child did not follow the recommended introductory stages of SCD, then the elimination of nuts may well bring an improvement.

Tolerance of nuts varies. Every child is different. Children might not tolerate any nuts during the early months of SCD. Some children may only tolerate small amounts and only if finely ground, while others do well with large amounts.

Almond flour may be particularly difficult. Try other nut flours instead.

Nut butters are easier to digest than nut flours. They can substitute in recipes calling for nut flour..

Whole nuts are the most difficult to digest and should be postponed until a child reaches the advanced stage.

You may introduce the almond or pecan muffins very gradually once digestive symptoms have improved. Start with 1/4 muffin every other day and increase to one a day if all goes well. After, you can go to about 3 per day. Elaine warned against more.

Cashews are a starchy nut, beans or peanut butter are not as digestible as other permitted nuts. Cashews also contain powerful enzyme inhibitors. We strongly recommend you delay the introduction of cashews for as long as possible. Beans, even those properly soaked and pre-cooked, have the major disadvantage of containing too much starch and are another food to only be introduced when a child is in the advanced stage.

The same principle applies to peanuts, which are actually legumes, not nuts, as are beans Again, please reserve peanuts and beans until a child is well advanced.

Peanuts have other disadvantages. Peanut allergy is more common than tree nut allergy, so much so that it is now restricted from many schools and is even being removed from some commercial products. Peanut may also provoke gut reactions and cause GI distress. There is even a possablity that brain function is better on days when no peanut items have been consumed.


During the first months of the diet, fruit and vegetables need to be peeled, cooked and have the seeds removed.

It is very important to cook fruit and vegetables at first because the sugars in fruit are contained within a cell. The cell is surrounded by a cell wall of cellulose which is a "fence-like" structure. When the foods are given raw, often, the milking action of the small intestine cannot sufficiently extrude the sugars because of the rigid barrier presented by the cell wall. This results in undigested sugars being passed on to the lower bowel where they feed microbes. Cooking fruits and vegetables softens the cell walls and avoids this.

There are exceptions; avocados and very ripe bananas do not need to be cooked. Raw fruit and vegetable juices may be given when the worst digestive symptoms subside. The juices must be made using a traditional juicer that extracts the fibrous parts. Blenders and Vitamix should not be used in preparing juices that will be consumed by beginners as they retain the fiber. Juices should always be diluted with water. This does not apply to tomato juice.

Although the fruit needs to be ripe, the vegetables do not. ( Unripe fruit may contain starch, notably unripe bananas which contain a lot of starch). Bananas must not have any visible green on their stem or peel and should be liberally covered with lots of black spots. Dried fruits are an ADVANCED food to be used only occasionally if no sulfite sensitivities exist.

If your child does not tolerate seeds, you can still feed strawberries by trimming off the seeds on the outside and slicing up the rest of the berry. Parents have even been known to peel grapes for their children. This is time consuming so you may choose to stick to easy to peel fruit such as apples, bananas and pears.

Good beginning fruit choices are: cooked, peeled, and deseeded fruit such as homemade applesauce or pear sauce and the ripe bananas

This is the protocol for a child who has been dairy free prior to SCD or experiences extreme milk sensitivity and GI problems. We recommend that children with autism follow this protocol.

It is IMPORTANT to follow these steps.

Step 1
Try dairy free SCD for at least one month prior to the introduction of goat yogurt; this gives the gut a chance to heal.

Step 2
You may try the goat yogurt once you get good results with SCD and no longer have yeast die-off. It is essential that goat yogurt be made with the CORRECT starter for GOAT YOGURT. You will find that starter listed in the yogurt section of our website. You should start out with tiny amounts such as 1/8 of a teaspoon and gradually increase the amount.

Goat yogurt is the general recommendation for children who were dairy free before starting SCD and for those with autism. We endorse the goat yogurt as the official SCD diet protocol for those on this list.*

* There are some ASD children are able to tolerate COW yogurt. Cow yogurt should be introduced very, very slowly. If you opt for cow yogurt and get bad results, remember this is your personal decision and your responsibility. Should you opt for cow yogurt, please be sure to mention that you were not using the recommended type of dairy when describing any problems at all on the list or to others. One of the most common concerns of those making the transition from other diets regards the optional use of dairy. It is critically important to familiarize yourself with the information above. Remember, we only advocate well tolerated, digestible dairy yogurt that has been treated to foster growth of the beneficial bacteria and eliminate lactose. SCD yogurt plays an important role in the process of healing a damaged gut.

Once yogurt is tolerated, one to three cups a day may be given.

We advise all parents who have children with milk sensitivity or autism to avoid the Dry Curd Cheese for a very long time because it is usually made from cows' milk.


There is a version of SCD that might result in a speedier recovery. It is not required but will enhance your health.
Click here to view the enhanced version of SCD.

The SCD diet isn't always easy to follow. It requires patience and careful observation.

But nearly everyone on it seems to agree: The SCD diet is WELL WORTH THE TIME AND EFFORT it takes to follow it.