Children and teens with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have the same nutritional needs as all children and teens. Children with ASD may be picky eaters, so parents might worry they are not getting the nutrients they need. For example, if children do not get enough dairy (milk or cheese) because they do not want it or because of a special diet, they may not get enough calcium and vitamin D. If children do not eat enough foods made from grains, they may not get enough fiber and B vitamins. Some children with ASD are such picky eaters that they are at risk for nutritional disorders. They may also be at risk for low iron.

Eating problems are common in children. In children with ASD, the problems may be more serious and last longer because of problems with taste, texture, or smell. They may be the result of learned behaviors. Up...

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