GAPS and the Fussy Eater
It is quite common for children with neuro-psychological conditions to be fussy eaters. GAPS, which refers to a relationship between the gut and the health of the brain and immune system, ties together all the health issues experienced by children and adults with psychiatric and psychological conditions. These health issues are not limited to the symptoms caused by the condition, however, but physical illnesses as well.
How being a fussy eater could impact health
GAPS suggests that when people with psychological or psychiatric conditions are examined, it is not uncommon to find that they are a fussy eater or that they are malnourished. GAPS also refers to people suffering with autoimmune diseases and so the term now applies to physiological as well as psychological health problems, again linking these health concerns to the gut. http://dsite.gapsaustralia.com/services/what-is-gaps/
The problem with being a fussy eater
Just as is the case for people with psychiatric conditions, a person with autoimmune diseases may also be a fussy eater. The problem with being a fussy eater, according to GAPS, is that the individual becomes used to the limited types of foods they will eat, which are invariably bad for the gut. As the health of the gut deteriorates, and the toxins in the body increases, the symptoms become harder to treat. http://www.gaps.me/preview/?page_id=29
How GAPS could help
GAPS believes it can help the fussy eater by starting them on the introduction diet before the full GAPS diet is followed. If a child is a fussy eater and has also been diagnosed with autism, it can be incredibly difficult to encourage wider and more appropriate food choices, but with therapies such as ABA, it can be possible to go through a process of detox so that child is not dependent upon the sugary foods they may be used to, before instilling more healthy options. This requires:
- Motivation and reinforcement
- Realistic targets
- Consistency and support
It is not uncommon for a child to be a fussy eater but if they are to thrive and live healthy lives it is important that they receive the nourishment that they need. GAPS suggests that where the problem of being a fuss eater is secondary to the main health issue, it should be given greater attention.