* There are a lot of photos in this post and it is longer than usual. If you are an email subscriber, you may need to click on the blog link to view this piece in its entirety.
This week I posted our story; where we’ve been and what led us to the point of exploring biomedical treatment. If you did not get a chance to check it out, please click here to read. We started this process at the beginning of September and it has been a roller coaster. In the first couple of weeks Jake was irritable, unfocused, and his energy level was off the charts. And I won’t lie; he was a little annoyed that he couldn’t have many of his favorite foods anymore and that I was trying to make him eat things like lentils and force supplements down his throat. Oh, and then there was that spinach juice …
It was interesting to me, however, how quickly his taste buds changed. Three days in and he was no longer gagging on meat as he had done in the past. On Day #5 of the new diet and supplement plan, Jake said his first sentence. In the afternoon, when his brother asked if we could bring the new stray cat inside, Jake said, “No, L. Cat pee pee in house and eat Rio” [bird].That night at dinner he said Sentence #2. “L. has Thomas plate. Jake has Cars plate. Daddy white bowl. Mama white bowl.”
We were blown away; stringing that many words together was unheard of. Yep, he was surging, but the bad thing with these bursts of speech is that in the land of apraxia, regressions typically follow. And this time was no exception.
We continued this up and down process through November, although the good days were getting more frequent and bad days seemed to be fading away. Jake’s delay in “official” progression could have been because of two things. 1.) I had unknowingly been giving him several things that had allergens in them. 2.) Experts say that it can take 3-4 months for gluten to get out of your system.
The first logical question people ask when they hear that Jake is allergic and/or sensitive to wheat, dairy, egg, pork, fish, and nuts is, “What can he eat?”
A lot, actually.
Here’s the breakfast that he eats almost every day of his life …
I cook two Applegate turkey sausage (8 grams of protein) in 1 teaspoon of coconut oil. Jake is supposed to have 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of this fatty acid every day. Once the waffle gets out of the toaster, I put 1 teaspoon of flaxseed on it and microwave for 10 seconds. The flaxseed has to be stored in the refrigerator and I like to warm it up so it doesn’t make the waffle cold. I put the waffle flaxseed side down on his plate so it looks like crumbs. (I know, genius). He is supposed to have 2 teaspoons of flax every day, but I haven’t been able to make that happen. He has either honey or syrup with the waffle and water to drink. The applesauce has supplements in it.
He usually has a fruit snack in the morning. He likes apples, grapes, oranges, bananas, canned peaches, and raisins. I always buy organic apples and grapes because they are on the Dirty Dozen list. (Click here to view). Many times I buy other fruits organic; it just depends on the price difference and the availability. Jake usually has 3-4 fruit servings a day.
Around 11:30 or 12:00 Jake has lunch. The “Everything Guide to Cooking for Children with Autism,” states that the average daily protein requirement for a child four to six years old is 15 grams. Jake’s requirement is 40 grams.
Why so much? Protein = amino acids = healthy brain
I make sure to include protein with every meal. I do not always meet the 40 grams, but I’ve learned what food combinations per day will add up to his requirement and I usually come pretty close to it.
The following are his protein sources:
As a general rule, I give him a hamburger every other day and blackeye peas with chicken nuggets on alternating days. Both of those meals give him a good bang for his protein buck. I have started making blackeye peas a staple because they are a source of zinc and it’s easy to sneak a spoonful of olive oil into them. Jake is supposed to be getting 1 to 2 teaspoons a day of olive oil. Eating healthy fats is very important.
For lunch and dinner he usually has a fruit and/or veggie, meat, and a carb like Glutino GF pretzels, Lays potato chips, or french fries. Obviously, all things in moderation. He gets green beans with olive oil almost every single day. I have not been buying organic canned veggies because our specialty store is 45 minutes away and I can’t get there on a regular basis. I buy all speciality food from Vitacost now, however, and just realized they carry organic canned green beans and blackeye peas. I’ll have to start including those two things in my cart.
Jake has fruit and usually a treat (GF pretzels, Enjoy Life chocolate chips, or pack of gummies) in the afternoon. He drinks a lot of water (Brita-filtered) and a little juice (apple, grape) throughout the day. He does not drink milk. He cannot have almond milk because of his nut allergy and milk, regardless of the typc, has always made him gag.
The following are things that I need to start incorporating into his diet more because they are not his favorites, but will eat: broccoli, walnuts, pecans, Boars Head roast beef, regular chicken, steak, and baked potatoes.
Tune in next week for two posts: 1.) Supplements 2.) Treats & other occasional meals.
* For $10 off your first order of $30, click on the Vitacost link to the right of this page. It is the most convenient and affordable way to go.