Gluten-Free, Casein-Free and Soy-Free (GFCFSF)
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and other cereals, while casein is the protein found in dairy.
Gluten and casein, when not tolerated, can cause an inflammatory response that can create digestive disturbances, poor nutrient absorption, moodiness, as well as pain and many other physical, mental, and behavioral challenges.
These proteins can be problematic for children with autism, as often their digestive system is impaired and unable to deal with these proteins.
Research shows gluten intolerance is a factor in depression, anxiety, ADHD, and schizophrenia. And there are a number of studies on the opiates in autism, a decrease in GI symptoms on a GFCF diet, and a reduction in autistic symptoms with a GFCF diet.
If the proteins are not properly digested, they can become opiate compounds, fit in the opiate receptor of the brain, and mimic other opiates like morphine. This opiate effect can directly influence the brain and result in symptoms similar to morphine—foggy thinking, insensitivity to pain, opiate addiction and withdrawal, and irritability. inattentiveness, constipation, and more. This can not only have an effect on your child’s moods and cognitive function, but are very addictive, often causing an intense food preference – or cravings – for wheat and dairy foods like bread, milk, and cheese, This can make meal times challenging and picky eating habits a real struggle for any parent.
Soy has the same properties and challenges as gluten and casein, including the difficult-to-digest protein and opiates, so soy is removed on a GFCF diet as well.
Gluten-Free, Casein-Free, Soy-Free (GFCFSF) Diet
A gluten-free, casein-free, and soy-free diet, can help reduce:
- ADHD symptoms
- Autism symptoms
- Anxiety and depression
- Tummy aches
- Diarrhea and constipation
- Congestion and sleep apnea
- Picky eating
A gluten-free diet is also used with Down Syndrome as a larger percentage of people with this condition, also have Celiac disease (as well as non-celiac gluten intolerance).
Parents typically begin dietary intervention with the GFCFSF diet. I’ve found it one of the most effective ways to begin.
The GFCF diet avoids all foods containing gluten, the protein found in wheat, rye, barley, spelt, kamut, and commercial oats, and casein, the protein found in dairy.
There are many new commercially available products and recipes, making it easier than ever to go GFCF.
Some of the foods to avoid (sources containing offending proteins) are obvious. You’ll need to avoid any breads, crackers, pasta, or bakery items made with wheat and other gluten grains, and any dairy foods such as milk, cheese, butter, yogurt, and cream from any animals. But some sources can be sneaky and/or may contain undisclosed (gluten or casein-containing) ingredients, i.e:
- Soy sauce (except gluten-free)
- Potato chips and fries (often dusted with gluten during processing, may not be listed)
- Malt (derived from barley)
Use my GFCF Success Guide to plan and implement the GFCF diet for your child:
- Gluten and casein-foods to avoid
- GFCF alternatives
- Meal ideas
- Further GFCF tips (avoiding cross-contamination, using supplementation)
Your child is unique and so are their diet and nutritional needs. Learn how personalized nutrition can help your child today. Download our guide: “12 Nutrition Steps to Better Health, Learning, and Behavior.”
Explore our GFCFSF recipes below. Be sure to read all of the instructions before beginning in case diet-compliant substitutions are described in the introduction.
Gluten-Free, Casein-Free and Soy-Free Recipes
Contains Dairy. You can make this GFCFSF and Paleo, use coconut cream. This recipe is perfect when you cannot have any sugar in your diet. And the cream adds the perfect mouth feel for a dessert treat that is very satisfying for those on a sugar-free or...
Your kids will love smoothies - even green ones! One thing I ALWAYS talk about at live presentations is smoothies. Smoothies are one of the best tools in your "add good nutrition" learning toolkit - particularly when you want to get kale in. They're: Quick, easy,...
Dairy-Free, Nut-Free, Egg-Free, Low oxalate, Paleo, SCD/GAPS Ingredients ½ cup raw pumpkin seeds ½ cup + 2 Tablespoons of water ¼ cup sunflower seed butter 4-5 cloves of garlic 1 teaspoon of salt ½ cup of lemon juice, sauerkraut juice, or apple cider vinegar (one...
These are wonderful raw, no-bake brownies that are packed with protein and very little sugar, and can satisfy even the most serious "chocolate and peanut butter" cravings. They are delicious, and each bar has less that one date and ¼ teaspoon of honey. You can make...
GFCF/SCD/GAPS/Paleo/LOD This recipe is a dairy-free pumpkin pie filling. You can bake the filling without a crust (for SCD/GAPS, Paleo), or add any diet-compliant crust you’d like for a delicious pumpkin pie. For the low oxalate diet, avoid high oxalate spices such as...
GFCF/SCD/GAPS/Paleo/LOD/FG For low oxalate, use all apples instead of half pears. Ingredients: 3 apples, peeled, cored and chopped 3 pears, peeled, cored and chopped 2 packages of frozen or fresh cranberries (12 oz) Splash of...
GFCF/SCD/GAPS/Paleo/LOD/FG This recipe is SCD compliant. For those on GFCF and not SCD, you can use half potatoes—this way you have mashed potatoes with hidden cauliflower. For low oxalate, use coconut milk. For nut-free,...
GFCF/Paleo, Egg-Free/Nut-Free To make Keto diet friendly, avoid honey and replace it with add your own compliant sugar-free sweetener. Ingredients 1½ cup coconut butter ½ teaspoon raw coconut oil 5-8 drops peppermint oil 1-2 Tablespoons raw honey Unsweetened cocoa...
GFCF/Paleo, Nut-Free, Egg-Free This is Paleo and Primal but not SCD/GAPS because of the chocolate. It’s delicious and low in sugar. A square 1/12 of the recipe has only 1gram of sugar plus whatever is in any dried fruit added. To make soy-free, confirm your chocolate...
GFCF/SCD/GAPS/Paleo/FG 1 bunch of kale 3 medium beets Seeds from one pomegranate 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves Juice from one lemon juice 1/4 cup olive oil ½ teaspoon sea salt Scrub and cut beets in half or quarters. Boil beets...