For those affected by the Autism Spectrum Disorder, sugary foods are often avoided and children with Autism could be more at risk of developing nutritional issues with food, such as food intolerances, or allergies. For us here at Skinny Food Co, the importance of creating foods that are inclusive means anyone can enjoy – including children with different dietary requirements. Through creating products aimed at anyone, our inclusive range continues to provide low sugar, or gluten-free foods for families to put back on the table.
Over 700,000 people in the UK are affected by Autism, and World Autism Awareness Week aims to improve peoples understanding of Autism, making the world a more accessible and friendlier place. The National Autistic Society works toward transforming lives through educating, and offering support and practical advice for everyone.
Sugar can have a huge impact on anyone's diet, but it isn't just sugar that can affect a child with autism's behaviour. A protein found in milk, casein and gluten can be a factor too. Our Skinny Food Co products are allergen-free, dairy-free and gluten-free - an inclusive collection for everyone to enjoy.
Our founder, Wayne Starkey, kindly sat down with us to discuss how Autism affects his family, and what role Skinny Food Co products play in his family's diet:
How does your day-to-day life differ for you and your family?
As any parent with autistic children will know, every day can differ on many levels. Some days my children can find them easier to navigate and other days can feel very difficult for them cope. My son thrives on routine, but my daughter, who has pathological demand avoidance, needs to feel in control and routine takes that control away from her. So, this ultimately, effects the day, especially if they wake feeling less able to cope.
Before founding Skinny Food Co, did you find that there were many products on the market that you could give to your children and they would enjoy?
Before Skinny Food Co we had to be very careful what foods we cooked or bought for the children. My son has a very sensitive stomach - similar to IBS/digestive issues - and certain foods and sugary snacks ended in digestive upset for him. In all honesty, we struggled finding foods that didn’t start a stomach upset. My daughter has, what we believe, is a sugar sensitivity, as too much sugar can lead to meltdowns. Too much sugar can over stimulate her and then lead onto a meltdown.
How do SFC products make a difference in your children’s diet?
Skinny Food Co products definitely help our children’s diet. We need to watch the sugar in their diet and having sugar free sauces and syrups to use in their diet, it allows them to have a treat at weekend of a bag of sweets, for instance, as the weeks food and snacks have been balanced. As ultimately, we don’t want to deprive them of chocolate and sweets; they’re children at the end of the day!
How often do you use SFC products for your children's meals?
We use Skinny Food Co products every day. My children struggle with texture in their food. So, for lunch my daughter loves our chocolate spread on crustless bread. She has it most days. They also love our range of syrups on their pancakes and porridge in the morning - there’s too many to list to be honest! And the chocolate snack pots go down a treat too! We also use a lot of our sauces in our main meals as we generally like to cook meals from scratch.
Which is yours and your children’s favourite products?
My daughter’s favourite product is the duo chocolate spread. We always have to have it in! My son loves the maple syrup and ketchup. My wife loves the coffee syrups; her favourite is the cinnamon swirl and chocolate fudge. I love the black cherry jam, especially on a fruit scone!
Those affected by autism are sometimes more sensitive to the sugar present in many foods – until recently, options have been very limited, so we have compiled a list of some of our favourite and suitable products for you to try at home, but still balancing the blood sugar.
Our website has so many amazing options to choose from to put once avoided and once sugary foods back on the table for you and your families. Click the images for more information on each product!
Our Skinny Chocolate Crispies are a perfect in between meals snack, with only 1.4g of sugar per pack.
Our family favourite Low Sugar Jams are the perfect way to still enjoy sweet jam, but with 93% less sugar, these are a perfect swap from other, sugary brands.
Our Chocoholic Spreads contain 92% less sugar, so they are perfect for anyone needing a low sugar diet and can still enjoy the delicious taste of chocolate spread. These are palm oil free too, so they are great for the planet and your family!
Our Low Sugar Peanut Butter Cups are exactly what they say on the tin – these are a delicious, low sugar snack that is jam-packed with amazing nutty flavours!
Of course, our signature Virtually Zero, Sugar Free Syrups are a staple in anyone’s cupboard – made primarily of water, these are a great way to add some tasty fun to any bowl of porridges, poured over pancakes, mixed with yoghurt or even as a dip for some fruit!
Our low sugar sauces are the ideal swap to make, in order to still enjoy delicious meals, with less, or no sugar at all added. Our Ketchup is an unsurprising best seller, and you can see why by clicking here! The Fakeaway sauce range is the perfect way to still enjoy your favourite ‘takeaway’ dishes, without adding the extra calories and sugar. A perfect alternative, these sauces are all you need to make amazing dishes, without the worry of adding unnecessary amounts of sugar.
For great recipe ideas, or to shop our products, click here!