Autism Watch: 2007

Posts Tagged ‘eat

My son’s big on routine. Sameness. Repetition. Familiarity. It all holds true with his diet, too. I’ve mentioned in a prior blog entry how food is a huge issue for us. He has a limited set of foods he’ll eat, and those foods need to be prepared the same way, too. (Only pancakes for breakfast, cut a certain way. Only a turkey or ham sandwich for lunch, no cheese, no mayo, just mustard. And no crusts.) Dinner is our experimental meal of the day. Because I have to cook for at least six of us daily, I don’t have the time to cook two meals — nor do I want to — so we try to get him to eat what we’re eating each night, some with better success than others. He’d eat chicken nuggets nightly if we let him, but only if they’re not crispy. (He’s got issues with smells and textures, and has been known to gag up many a bites of food and never look at them again.)

So, what to do? Each night we try to get him to try what we’re having. I made gumbo on Wednesday night (homemade, and may I say it rocked?) and for his bowl, I picked out the green peppers. I also didn’t use onions and very little spice, just enough to be tasty for everyone but not too ‘spicy’ for him. (Everything that tastes odd to him is ‘spicy.’) He ate it! He loved the rice, sausage and chicken. I tried to get him to eat some leftovers of it yesterday, as I was out late through dinner and suggested dd give him a bowl of it, but he wouldn’t try it.

If he eats something one time and it’s bad, chances are, he won’t try it again. He’ll shy away from it faster than you can say “I’ll make you more chicken nuggets!” We’re a non-red-meat household, so we eat a lot of meals that include chicken and ground turkey. We cook pretty well and can be creative, but with him, creative in the traditional sense doesn’t work. Instead, we need to be creative with food preparation in a boring way. Same ingredients, different ways…and every now and then, we throw in something different and hope he goes for it. He’s got a nose that beats most any I’ve seen, and he senses out a different smell, and taste, before the fork gets to his mouth….holding half the food initially on the fork before it left the plate and the ‘non-messy zone.’

I’m going away to the conference this weekend, so I am curious how things go with dh and their meals. Dh can be great at persuading him to try different things….but ds is really stubborn and too much pushing can result in a nightmare of a meltdown. Seen a few of those this week, but at least the bitemark faded!

So how do you introduce new foods into your child’s diet, especially if you avoid certain items? How do you get him to eat enough, and is only eating a few things a big deal, other than trying to find ways to make sure the diet includes proper vegetable and fruit amounts? Without anyone going crazy? 😉

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You poor thing! You don’t have to finish that. I don’t want you to have a sickness, by all means throw the rest away…after you stop gagging.

You’d have thought it was brussel sprouts. What was it? A chocolate covered donut.

My son’s feeding issues have returned with a vengeance. Years ago, he ate 8-10 things without complaint. Then it increased, and he ate much better, though still with sensory issues — he’d gag easily, as textures really bug him, smells would bother him, and he was very limited in what tastes he wanted. Chicken nuggets have lasted throughout the years, and pizza’s a favorite the last year or so. But lately, he’s back to only wanting pancakes for breakfast, a turkey sandwich (no cheese, just mustard) for lunch, along with a selection of several snacks (like certain crackers, grapes, homemade cookies) and every dinner he wants chicken nuggets or pizza. Everything beyond that is a battle. He gags, wretches, whines, complains and will run and hide if made to eat anything else. Part of it appears to be the food, and part appears to be just the act of sitting still.

So, I didn’t say a word when the donut went in the trash, and I happily heated up his pancakes knowing he’d at least have a full tummy. But, in the end, what to do? Are food issues a problem with your child? I’m open to any/all ideas on increasing my son’s interest in food and getting beyond some of these sensory issues.


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