The prevalence of «Autism» is increasing day by day. Autism spectrum disorder is only detected after 1-2 years of age and there is no indication that your child might be autistic before this age. Some of the factors that are increasing the chances of the child becoming Autistic may be due to changing lifestyle, imbalanced diet, canned processed food, stress, vaccinations, also increased habit of smoking and drinking especially in women. As old belief goes «PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN CURE» Autism can be prevented by being little cautious and leading a healthy life style.
Precaution starts from day you start planning for a child. The moment you start planning start Folic acid supplement (dosage as per your physician’s advice), folic acid is one of the major vitamin which helps prevent neural defects. Next utmost important step to be taken is STOP SMOKING AND HARD DRINKS. Avoid junk food, canned processed food, aerated drinks and canned juices. Avoid red meat and minimize non vegetarian diet, include fresh water fish to other sources of sea food. Drink plenty of water minimum 2.5 to 3 liters of water a day. Eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables. Include nuts and seeds like Brazilian nut, hazelnut, walnut, pecans, almonds, flaxseeds, sesame seeds, black dates in your daily routine.
Once you conceive, make sure you eat a balanced diet in terms of proteins, fats, carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. Of course need for each nutrient increases and is different in different trimester of pregnancy. Consult a Qualified Nutritionist who will guide you through your pregnancy. Try to do activities that keep you happy and help you sleep well, take care of your self, avoid high heels — be cautious don’t get into an accident. And DO NOT FORGET «NO SMOKING AND HARD DRINKS».
Post delivery; make sure you BREAST FEED your child for one year. As Breast Milk is the best and a complete Nutrients available to your infant. Do not self diet to lose weight and get in shape, while you are breast feeding your child. Eat a well balanced diet, consult a Nutritionist she will advise you. Remember what you eat will go to your child through breast milk. When your child is six months old introduce food in their diet along with Breast feeding; your child is growing and only breast milk will not suffice their needs. A Qualified Nutritionist will be the right person to advice the food that suits your baby.
Feed your child a balanced home cooked food till they are 7 year old. Do not introduce junk food, aerated drinks, canned, ready to eat processed food till the age of 7 years. This will help improve their immunity and help build a strong healthy base for a healthy life ahead.
Dr Varsha Patel