Autism Diet cheat sheet

I developed this cheat sheet some time ago to give people looking for help with the GFCF diet. How to start? Where to get info? Etc. Maybe it'll help you.

The Autism Diet cheat sheet
A quick guide to getting helpful info

1) Goto the TACA website. There's two tremendously helpful things here. First goto their bookstore and consider purchasing the Autism Journey Guide -- you can find it at this link: I get nothing for recommending this guide. I just wish it existed years ago.
Second, head to their GFCF articles section at for all sorts of good ideas. Read! This might be a bit overwhelming. But you need to know these things. Some of the problems they discuss are invaluable, like testing for supplement levels.

2) Consider buying Lisa Lewis' cookbooks. There's two. Special Diets for Special Kids I & II. Available on Amazon. Tons of helpful info in addition to great starting recipes and a list of online specialty food suppliers. A lot of us who first ventured into the world of GFCF 10+ years ago started with these.

3) Visit It has some helpful info, but almost too much info for beginners. Note it has a link to a huge list of unacceptable foods and a recipe page. Just know this site exists.

4) Goto the GFCFrecipes Yahoo message group and join. This is a tremendous source of help that you can goto daily for advice. Note that the organizers of the message group now have posted all of the recipes submitted over the years to one Website at You could spend a day at this site checking recipes.

5) From the above info, you should get a decent grip on what needs to be changed and generally how to change it. But, where do you shop?

-- Online: some people order foods online. This is very convenient but more expensive. One good one is Ener-G Foods at There's many more. For flour and grains, Bob's Red Mill is the best.
-- Supermarkets with organic sections. Also very expensive but convenient. I'm finding more and more GFCF products and on the shelves.
-- Food co-ops: This is the best option for me in the Pittsburgh area. You join for a nominal fee. It's a grocery but mostly organic, including flours, noodles, grains, breads, produce, etc. Usually, you can buy in bulk and get a significant discount. Find one near you by searching Also, search your yellow pages and online for any organic store, wholesaler, supplier in your area.
-- Meats: It's recommended you buy organic. Some buy natural meat that is free of preservatives and hormones. You can search for farmers who sell poultry, beef, ham/pork in your area at Also, check the yellow pages again under farms. I don't buy certified organic. That's my personal choice. But I buy farm meat to avoid preservatives and hormones - and to support local farmers.
-- At many supermarket deli's, Applegate Farms and Boars Head Meats tend to sell stuff that's OK. Search for them on the web to check on gluten status. Also, consider Wellshire Farms meats. Oh, their Website is: (make sure you get both "ll's" in the Wellshire or you'll go to another farm's Website).

6) Seek the help, advice and support of others who have gone through this. Having someone that you can call with a question anytime is invaluable. The Yahoo GFCFRecipes site ( is one great place to goto daily.

7) Note: Many kids with autism also have food allergies and intolerances. Do not be surprised if you find this with your child AFTER switching to the diet. That's when it will expose itself. This includes things like soy, corn, tomato, chocolate, rice and beans. If you think this is happening, remember, most doctors only test for allergies, and will not test for food intolerances. Many people do this privately by hiring a company to test their kids blood for intolerances. You can easily do this by mail, sending them blood from a simple finger prick.

8) Be patient. This diet takes time and effort. Nothing will happen overnight. We've found it has been well worth the effort with our daughters. It especially has enabled them to better respond to their other treatments -- therapies and vitamin supplements.

9) I'll leave you with a couple basic recipes. One is for yeast bread, the other non-yeast bread, and a third for cookies. All are gfcf and allergy friendly. They're a good place to start. Enjoy.

-- Tom's Bread: see original posting at
1 1/8 cup Chickpea/garbanzo bean flour
1 cup cornstarch or potato starch
1 cup + 1 Tbs. tapioca flour
3 1/2 tsp. xanthum gum
1 1/2 tsp. salt
3 Tbs. brown sugar or regular sugar
1/4 tsp. creme of tartar
3 eggs, lightly beaten
1 1/8 cup warm water (uncomfortable to touch but not boiling)
3 Tbs. vegetable oil (I use peanut oil or canola oil)
2 1/4 tsp. active dry yeast

See original post for the bread machine method. I'll include the oven method below.
Heat to 375 degrees. Combine dry ingredients including the yeast. Mix thoroughly. Mix together the lightly beaten eggs, warm water, and oil in a separate bowl and whip with wire whisk. Pour wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and mix on medium speed. When sticky ball forms scrape sides to get all of the flours and ingredients mixed together and continue to mix for about 1 minute more. Scrape into a 9 x 5-inch lightly greased loaf pan. Cover with plastic wrap and let rise until at least double size (approximately 45 to 60 minutes). Remove plastic wrap and place pan in oven. Bake for 35-40 minutes or until the loaf sounds hollow when tapped with a spoon. Turn the loaf out onto your wire rack and allow loaf to cool or you can slice it while hot.

-- Noah's Bread: see original post at

1/2 cup brown rice fl. (I subbed sorghum)
2/3 cup tapioca flour
1/3 cup corn or potato starch
2 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 egg (or sub)
1/3 cup oil
1/2 cup CF milk (or water)
1/3 cup sparkling water

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Mix all ingredients well, except the sparkling water. Once the batter is well mixed, add the sparkling water to make the batter rise.
Work quickly and form batter into buns, bagels, roll, etc. I use hamburger form pans and rings from the Gluten Free Pantry but you can also use aluminum foil to make form rings. I also put the batter into large ziplock bags, cut a corner, and squeeze out the appropriate shape of whatever I'm trying to make, such as bagels.
The batter should be thick and look somewhat lumpy. Don't use too much batter or form too high. The bread will puff and rise and settle back down once cooled.
Bake for 20-25 min until the crust is golden brown.
The crust will be hard out of the oven but will soften once cooled.
They freeze and thaw really well.

-- JR's tolerant cookie recipe:
see original post at

This is a basic cookie recipe. This version is for chocolate or carob, whichever you prefer. I make carob. However, you can also make a spice cookie from this. These freeze well.

1 cup sorghum flour
1/2 cup tapioca flour/starch
1/2 cup sugar
1/3 cup cocoa or carob powder
3 tsp egg replacer powder(Ener-G) or 1 egg sub
2 tsp xanthan gum
2 tsp baking powder
1 tsp sea salt
Mix this well. Then add, 1/2 cup canola oil and 1/2 cup water. Add extra water by the tablespoon if too chunky. You want this to be smoother, but not liquidy.
Beat with blender.
Using WET hands, form into rough balls onto an ungreased cookie sheet or in muffin tins. I sprinkle sugar on top. Bake at 400 for 12-15 minutes. They will be very soft coming out of the oven but will firm up as they cool.
To make the spice cookie, omit the carob/cocoa and add 1 tsp. cinnamon, 1/4 tsp. ginger and 1 tbsp of syrup (any kind) into the 1/2 cup of water.



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