New nutrition guidelines on the management of gastrointestinal symptoms in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have been published in the Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

The new guidelines address issues such as food selectivity, alternative diets, and nutritional deficits.  A 6-member expert panel was formed to establish a standard manual of care for nutrition management. The resulting guidelines include a decision-making flowchart, detailed intervention steps, and management examples of constipation and eosinophilic esophagitis. 

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Experts stated that the goal of nutrition management in autism is symptom resolution, promotion of adequate growth, and assurance of a nutritionally complete diet. The guideline recommends that in cases of severe food selectivity, nutrition therapy and feeding therapy should occur concurrently. It also contains recommendations on the use of nutritional supplements or liquid formulas for this patient population. Experts also recommend consultation with a registered dietitian to create a nutritionally complete diet that also relieves gastrointestinal concerns.

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