Kristin Selby Gonzalez, President and Chairman of Autism Hope Alliance, (www.autismhopealliance.org) recently sat down with our Founder Cygnia Rapp to discuss her dietary approach for improving health in autistic children and the role MELT plays in her family.
“My goal is to provide families with autistic kids the dietary foundation for being as healthy as possible by doing to all they can for their child nutritionally. I have been a nutritionist for 8 years with an autistic son and use a nutritional approach for treating food allergies and food intolerances from the inside out. It is in a mom’s DNA to want to nourish her children. Moms and dads can pursue as many therapies as possible, but if that child isn’t feeling well, nothing is going to help that child. Time and time again I have seen how transitioning to a dairy- and gluten-free diet helps autistic kids look, feel, and behave better: maybe they look their parents in the eye, or their bowel movements become normalized. After implementing a casein- and gluten-free diet, 80% of parents report some improvement in their child’s condition. Because they are feeling better, these kids are suddenly willing to participate in therapy sessions.
I was never one of these granola moms, but I was given a challenge with my autistic son, which is intimidating to many mothers. I want to help moms and dads not spend a fortune at the health food store on products their kids won’t eat. We pride ourselves on helping families learn about products like MELT so they don’t have to waste time and money experimenting with products that technically meet their kids’ needs but that kids won’t eat because they taste terrible.
When I started this journey ten years ago with my autistic son, most of the gluten- and dairy-free foods on the market were gross and nobody wanted to eat them (especially kids). It was up to me to experiment with different recipes and make delicious gluten- and dairy-free foods. Ten years later, I feel so fortunate to have food companies like MELT with truly delicious gluten- and casein-free options. I don’t feel like our family is giving up anything when we share our son’s gluten- and casein-free diet.
I love butter. It’s been a long time since I have eaten butter but at this point even if I could, I don’t think I would go back to butter because MELT is so versatile and delicious. I love how I can bake with it and eat it on all of our foods where we would otherwise use butter. MELT has a yummy, creamy taste and I don’t feel like I am sacrificing by eating MELT instead of butter. I used MELT this morning while making gluten-free, dairy-free pancakes. I like to mix cinnamon, nutmeg, and a little vanilla together and sprinkle it over pancakes with MELT on top; it’s delicious like French toast and my son loves it. When I add MELT in a mixer, it’s so nice to see how creamy the batter gets – MELT doesn’t clump or take a long time to blend in a recipe. For both taste and cooking, MELT is universal.
I feel like I am making my son healthy from the inside out. As a mom, I can’t control how my son responds to food allergies but I can control what I put in his body. If I can help him make an easier transition to a dairy- and gluten-free diet then I feel even better. These days, going gluten-free and dairy-free is much easier with all of the great products like MELT out there.
I am excited about Chocolate MELT as a great treat. I would like to make frosting out of Chocolate MELT and coconut milk, maybe place it in the fridge to harden it a little bit. We know sugar is pro-inflammatory and worsens gut problems so I am always trying to figure out ways to make foods kids will love and that are healthy.
I have been shopping in health food stores for the last twenty years and a nutritionist for the last eight years, so I love trying new products like MELT. Your company is so refreshing because I can honestly say maybe 25% of natural/ organic food companies are getting it right, products from the other 25% can be “tweaked” to get them right, and the other 50% almost taste like nothing. With MELT, we don’t feel like we are sacrificing anything – it’s our first choice and not just a replacement for butter.
My mission is to teach people about food first and then everything else. Of course food is just once piece of the puzzle, but in my opinion it’s the central piece.”