A few years ago, I read somewhere that some parents of autistic children reported that a gluten and/or casein free diet helped with some of the symptoms of autism. Specifically, they reported improvements in communication, cognitive, motor, verbal and social skills.
Based on the early studies, some autism support websites suggested that parents remove gluten and casein (milk products) from their autistic children’s diets.
However, A new study in Pediatrics assessed the current research on these types of nutritional interventions and determined that the actual outcomes are inconclusive. Many of the trials had a significant risk of bias in them. The trials included a total of 732 children and investigated the benefits of supplements, variations of the gluten-free and/or casein-free diet and other dietary treatments. The interventions lasted from a week to two years.
The trials did not yield enough evidence to draw any conclusions about the benefits of eliminating gluten or casein from children’s diets. No changes occurred in autistic children’s behavior or in their gastrointestinal symptoms when they consumed a food containing gluten or casein after being on one of these diets.
The conclusion of the peer reviews was that there was little evidence to support the effectiveness of nutritional supplements or the gluten-free, casein-free diet for improving Autism Spectrum Disorder symptoms. They suggest parents should discuss any major changes to children’s diets with their health-care provider or Autism Support providers before implementing.
Potato and Leek Soup
In keeping with my soupy theme of the last few weeks, I’ve provided my recipe here for Potato and Leek Soup. I love this soup – thick, creamy and very tasty. I dug some potatoes from my garden today but ran out of time to make this yummy dish today, so it’s definitely on the menu for tomorrow’s lunch.
Lamingtons are an Australian Classic. Apparently, they are believed to have been created by accident by a maid-servant to Lord Lamington, the eighth Governor of Queensland. The maid-servant accidentally dropped some sponge cake into some melted chocolate. Lord Lamington did not believe in waste so he suggested that the cake should be dipped in coconut to cover the chocolate and avoid messy fingers.
Now, lamingtons are made for fund-raisers and special occasions all over Australia. Many years ago, I ran a business that overlooked a religious charitable organisation. Once a month, they would have a major lamington making frenzy. If it was fine, they would line up trestle tables outside, and everyone would line up to create a production line, with some cutting, some dunking, and some rolling the cake in coconut. In a couple of hours, they would create several hundred lamingtons to sell to raise funds.
I baked these lamingtons last Australia Day (January 26) to acknowledge a great Australian classic on the day we celebrate all things Australian. Just to make them even more irresistible I filled them with butter cream and home-made strawberry jam.
Try them some time when you want to indulge in a sweet treat.
Until next week, take care and eat well.
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