What is your “go to” food for you child with #Autism?

Many children on the #Autism spectrum can be very picky eaters.  I hear from my readers all the time about how difficult mealtimes can be. 

I personally understand exactly what that’s like.  Mealtimes can be an absolute nightmare in the Lost and Tired household. 

This got me thinking.  Do you have any goto foods that you can fall back on when all else fails?  For example,  if all else fails in my house,  we can always fall back on chicken nuggets.  We always,  always keep them stocked and in the freezer. 

If push comes to shove,  I can always nuke some nuggets and the kids are happy…usually.

So what are your goto foods? Do your kids have any one food that they will always,  or at least most of the time,  eat without a problem?

By sharing, perhaps we can help each other out with new options for mealtime. 

**Thanks for reading**

       -Lost and Tired

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This was posted via WordPress for Android, courtesy of Samsung’s Galaxy S III. Please forgive any typos. I do know how to spell but auto-correct is working against me.

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kat13

 @BeckyDeanLehto Yes, over the time, it sure does change. She either discovers finally something else, or goes back to something she was obsessively eating before. 

lostandtired

@JenniferWhynott can I ask you what about that bothers you? I just want to better understand 🙂

JenniferWhynott

 @lostandtired  @JenniferWhynott
 For me I like certain foods and I am a picky eater. I may be an undiagnosed aspie myself. I dont like my food to touch it changes the way it tastes. I want my meat and it's sauce to not touch my mashed potatoes because it changes the taste f the potatoes. The butter on my meat changes the way it tastes. These tastes I do not like they taste funny. I am so glad that lately my daughter has been able to articulate better how things affect her so we can better understand how to help her
 

lostandtired

@JenniferWhynott I would have never thought of that.THank you for enlightening me.

cwolfpack3

 @lostandtired You may not believe this, but I actually got my (then 17 year old) son with Asperger's to eat zucchini. I steamed it, then put it in a blender with spagetti sauce. He thought the tiny green flecks were just the seasoning in the sauce and gobbled it down!

BeckyDeanLehto

Does anyone else have a child whose "go to food" changes?  My daughter goes through periods where she wants one food all the time; sometimes ramen, sometimes a certain type of potato chip, sometimes plain spaghetti, sometimes chicken noodle soup, sometimes broccoli!  This also applies to drinks.  We went through a chocolate milk phase, a Gatorade phase and we are currently in a pink lemonade phase.  And then suddenly she will drop her "go to food" and move on to something else.  The salty food I understand, she has sodium depletion from her AED, but the rest of it ???  I've tried really hard to not let food become a power struggle but she is increasingly defiant about eating anything other than her favored food of the moment.  And of course I have to balance this with the example it sets for her younger siblings. 

lostandtired

@BeckyDeanLehto I'm totally with you. We have the same issue as well. My guy will eat the same thing forever and then all of a sudden "doesn’t like it" anymore. He usually says it tastes funny.

puzzle pieces

After years of our son only eating 7 things, we met a wonderful behaviorist who specializes in food sensitivities.  She is currently getting her PhD.  She taught us that by introducing a new food followed by a tiny bit of favored food, we could encourage our son to eat new foods, the more he tried, the more of the favored food he would get, we then faded the reinforcement food.  It didn't take long and while he still has his favorites – bugers and mac and cheese, he will eat pretty much whatever is put in front of him, meat, poultry, fish, spinach, artichokes, carrots, squash, sweet potatoes, not a fan of salad and we are still working on the improvement of fruit, but the approach has definitely worked and I highly recommend it.  It is not at all easy at first, but like any kid, if you hang in there and are consistent, the payoff will come.
 

lostandtired

@puzzle pieces awesome 🙂

Alpkorkut

Our son has PDD NOS, so we have the same problem with foods. He is very picky, never eats vegetables and its really hard to make him try a new food. İts very hard to discover his favorite foods or the foods that he may like to eat. Our go to food is omelette with corn flakes. He most eat that without problem. Our second option is fish fingers for the moment. Both are delicious and nutritious so i can recommend them. And another point is he changes the favorite foods time to time, so we always have to search new options.

lostandtired

@Alpkorkut thank you for sharing 🙂

AngelEvansBrown

Right now our goto is potato chips..I know healthy right..LOL well they are organic, GF,SF and WF so it works. My 2 yo really likes crunchy foods and they are very calming to him so its always his appetizer:) AND watermelon but I get really tired of the clean up:(
Thanks to everyone for the posts..:)

lostandtired

@AngelEvansBrown what about dry Ramon Noodles? My kids are the same way and love Ramon Noodles.

cwolfpack3

Having written my post, below, I would add that our #1 go to food is yogurt. #2 is cereal with milk. #3 is almost any kind of pasta, as long as the sauce isn't chunky in style.

lostandtired

 @cwolfpack3 If my kids are willing to do pasta sauce, there can't be ANYTHING in it at all. We also fall back on dry cereal as well. 😉

stephanie0046

Fish sticks and Gold Fish!

lostandtired

My kids don't do fish sticks anymore. They do love Gold Fish though…. 

cwolfpack3

While I appreciate MagMinds' post about using ABA to increase the repertoire of foods, it is important to look at any medical issues first that may be causing the food refusal. I used to think that my son was gagging and choking on various foods because of a texture thing, like many kids with autism do. Then, while we were at the Peds GI office to address his bowel problems, the GI took a full history and perked up when I responded in the positive to any history of gagging, retching, or choking on foods, especially since my son had a history of reflux when he was little. One endoscope and a biopsy later, and we found out he had eosinophilic esophagitis, which was caused by some previously undiagnosed food allergies. He had all kinds of scarring an inflammation in his esophagus and stomach. With a change in meds for reflux and several trips to the peds allergist who specializes in this disorder, I can now say that my son eats almost anything I serve him, without refusal, and he no longer chokes or gags on his food. We found out that in addition to nuts (which we knew already) he had significant allergies to oranges, sesame, peas, and egg whites. With EoE, kids don't get the classic hives and itchy skin. They only have swelling in their esophagus and/or stomach pain, so it's easily misinterpreted as some other problem.

lostandtired

 @cwolfpack3 That is a very good point. I don't know that she meant it that way. I took it as general advice but not in the absence of medical care. 🙂 
 
What you're saying is absolutely solid advice and should be well heeded. Our son Emmett had the same problems with allergies. He has no outward signs but milk, lactose, egg and soy wreak havoc on his insides. 
 
PLEASE, make sure you rule out medical issues when it comes to some of these things. This is all fantastic advice from everyone but PLEASE talk to your childs doctor about any concerns you have.  🙂

TinaBanks

 @cwolfpack3
 you know now that you mention this! i just had a chat with my sons Peds and mentioned about him bringing his food back up, also mentioned about his reflux as a baby but she didnt mention anything about allergies! tho she did say to mention this to his other ped who deals with his bowels  thx for this iv an appointment with her nxt week and will be askin about allergies and tho i dont really like the idea of an endoscope for him (since i had one last month and it was a horrifyin experience!) it would be good to make sure theres no secret allergies thank you again i would never had thought of this..!!

lostandtired

@TinaBanks @cwolfpack3 my kids have had the endoscopy done. Rest assured that they are sedated and asleep through the whole procedure. It's not like it's done with adults. My kids don't remember any part of it. 🙂

MagMinds

 @cwolfpack3 you are so right! I advise my clients see a nutritionist, naturopath and doctor when dealing with food consumption issues. its important not to get bogged down in the idea that food consumption is always a behavioural…ofcourse eating is a behaviour, but sometimes medical concerns create the learned responses…like gagging, choking, etc. i.e. i refuse dairy because i am intolerant to it. I myself am GFCF.For many years as I child I refused apples, later to be diagnosed as allergic to them. ABA is just a piece of the puzzle everyone, a holistic BIG PICTURE idea is so important.

lostandtired

@MagMinds @cwolfpack3 very well said 🙂

whiterose

Chicken nuggets are a definite must keep in our house.  My daughter is a vegetarian just by her food choice alone. I don't think it's conscience like someone who proclaims they are one; she just seems to prefer it. So our go-to foods are bell pepper, mushrooms, cheese sticks, and bread, bread, bread.  I can't say enough, bread!  

lostandtired

 @whiterose At least it's healthy 🙂 We go through a ton of chicken nuggets

Kerri

 @lostandtired  @ciugola How about cold?  Yup, my poor little guy is allergic to cold.. it's been one heck of a tortured summer for him :S  No ice cream, no freezies, no anything colder than what you would find in a fridge.  No swimming, no sprinklers.  ugh.  

lostandtired

@Kerri @ciugola what? Wow.. How does that work?

Kerri

 @lostandtired  @Kerri  @ciugola   Not 100%.  When he was tested, they didn't have many answers either, just told us to keep him away from anything cold, just in case (possibility of anaphylaxis).  It started when he was younger, once in a blue moon he'd get hives and we were never able to figure out the cause.  Then last year it started happening more often and I noticed there was usually something/some place cold involved.  I think most things can be traced back to what/how we eat though and him being typically very picky, he was definitely not eating as healthy as he could be.  Since we've been able to get him to eat cleaner and try new things, he hasn't had one reaction (as well as other bonuses; more focused, calmer etc).  We have to get him retested to be sure.  If we've figured it out, he's getting the hugest ice cream cone ever.. in a pool with sprinklers surrounding it.. and a snow cone :p

MagMinds

 @lostandtired  @ciugola Colour themes? WOW! hehe…..our kids are so creative!

lostandtired

@MagMinds @ciugola i like that. Creative. That's a great way of thinking about that. 🙂

MagMinds

Food issues are so common in children of all colours, shapes, and sizes; the best is to use positive reinforcement, in ABA language we call it a DRA procedures, where we pair the undesired foods with  more reinforcing foods to increase willingness to eat it, engage with it and even look at it….it's not a miracle cure, nothing is, but I have had tremendous success with it….

lostandtired

@MagMinds that's a great point and I'm glad you brought that up. How many people know that speech therapists can help with these food issues?

kat13

 @MagMinds Yes, agree and heard of it from my school therapists. They use this technique with my daughter at school during the lunches. 

kat13

 @MagMinds Once example that comes from the top of my head is if your child loves Cool Whip, but hates peas, their suggestion was to cover peas with it. 

lostandtired

@kat13 @MagMinds i wish more people knew that

lostandtired

@kat13 @MagMinds I'm going to be spreading the word about this. People just don't realize that there is help.

lostandtired

@kat13 @Chloe123 i love bring people together to share ideas and experiences.

lostandtired

@kat13 @Chloe123 that's my name 🙂

kat13

 @lostandtired  @Chloe123 Rob*

kat13

 @lostandtired  @kat13  @Chloe123 Ron, I think you hit a very sensitive topic!

JenniferWhynott

 @kat13
 I prefer my cereal dry because the milk makes it mushy
 

JenniferWhynott

 @kat13
 I feel your pain! I have had those issues in the past

kat13

 @lostandtired  No, I haven't seen it (between school, work, and family) I really didn't watch TV for more than 6-7 years). This is my last semester, so would have to catch up on what I have missed over the last few years for sure!

JenniferWhynott

 @lostandtired
My brother and I have this issue. My mother found us corelle divided plates and bought us some. We are in our thirties!!!

JenniferWhynott

Considering my aspie only eats about 8 foods we keep those on hand at all times. noodles with parmers (parmesan cheese), apples, breadsticks, goldfish, brownies, string cheese, and milk. The only thing she will eat out of the house is donuts.

kat13

 @JenniferWhynott My little was really bad on her food selection when she was younger. She drunk only milk bottles till about she was 3.5 and just liked plain noodles with butter. So what I used to do and still do it every so often is mix in soft tofu (all mushed) into her food selection. Worked wonders with the milk! 
 
Now, I am giving her chocolate milk shakes 'Ensure' that is actually better than the one specifically for kids (contains more vitamins and minerals). 

lostandtired

@kat13 @JenniferWhynott I make smoothies with everything they need in them. Mostly fruit and vegetables and they love them. Well, sometimes anyway..

kat13

 @lostandtired  @kat13  @JenniferWhynott Not bad idea. I never tested it on mine because is she not a huge fan of any juices. She drinks only water and chocolate milk. 

lostandtired

@kat13 @JenniferWhynott something else to try is making ice cream out of bananas.

lostandtired

@JenniferWhynott have you found that number growing, shrinking or staying the same over time?

JenniferWhynott

 @lostandtired  @JenniferWhynott
 I find that number shrinking unfortunately. When we try to push the issue or bribe her the anxiety of trying new things makes it worse and then on the off chance she will actually lick something new it is an immediate no. She says her tongue feels prickly like when you eat yogurt at the first bite. We have been working on training her brain to accept new foods but there is not much success there. It has been this way since she was 6 months old and gagging on baby food.

lostandtired

@JenniferWhynott that's rough. I'm really sorry to hear that. Are you aware that speech therapy can help that. It's something that I only recently found out about. Best of luck… 🙂

kat13

Have any of you/your kids don't like some food to the point that you feel like it would go back up if it gets in the mouth?
 
My daughter can't stand mashed potatoes. Eats and loves baked potatoes fine. Eats yogurts and jellos with similar texture, but not a mashed potatoes. 

lostandtired

@kat13 that's has been known to happen here. My middle son always says his food tastes funny as well.

lostandtired

How about food items touching? Will you kids tolerate food items actually touching on the same plate? My Emmett won't touch his food if it's not perfect or if it has touch other food on his plate. He very often has has separate plates for each food item. 🙂

kat13

 @lostandtired Not a huge issue for a separation,  but if the salad dressing would get on her other food, that is it. 

lostandtired

@kat13 have you ever seen the show Monk? That's how Emmett is with food. 🙂 Incidentally, I love Monk.

LeannaGeorge

for Serenity, it's Spaghetti.  Never had any problems getting her to eat spaghetti or soup and chili.
 
Caleb has gotten picky, but I think he is just not interested in eating, only in playing video games.  *sighs*  going to have to start working with him on that.
 

lostandtired

@LeannaGeorge I'm with you on the video games. We have a similar challenge. It's nice to have something that can occupy them but sometimes it gets a bit much know our end.

Alicia

For Max it's dried apricots that are SOFT not tough, mixed with ORANGE Goldfish crackers and put into a "bucket" (that's any old Tupperware container). Note the orange theme here?  : ) 

lostandtired

@Alicia my kids have color themes as well.

ciugola

For main dish item we can always fall back on a Turkey Burger, but it has to be the blue box by Jennie-O.  That's fine, we keep them stocked at all times.  We can also always serve up celery, carrots, apples.  My son has a ton of food allergies so it really is a kind of cave man diet in our house for him.  Sadly, we did find out that a lot of vegetables that  were go to food are now NoNos because of allergies.  Cucumbers and Spinach are both on that list.  🙁  

lostandtired

@ciugola i didn't know that one could be allergic to veggies. That's great though that he loves his veggies. We also do the turkey thing as well. 🙂

kat13

 @ciugola The box appearance or a brand is a super important. My daughter still relies heavily on the look of the container, but we are working on it and slowly changes to accept slightly different packages! Used be a nightmare when the packages were changed by the factory!

Chloe123

Rob, do your kids eat lunchables? Or those Kid Cuisine Frozen dinners?

lostandtired

@Chloe123 they do, but only certain parts. They don't like the corn or the frozen fruit because they say it's slimy. 🙂

kat13

 @Chloe123 We finally got away from it! That was the only thing she would take it as acceptable for a lunch food at school. We kept on telling that it is only for little kids (it worked on her well as she doesn't like to be called a little girl). 

lostandtired

@kat13 @Chloe123 very interesting. I love this dialogue 🙂

Chloe123

While I am not picky, nor do I have sensory issues or preferences related to foods or eating, one of my favorites lately is mac and Cheese, and not just any Mac and Cheese, Frozen Mac and Cheese that is cooked in the Microwave, like Stofer's brand etc.

lostandtired

@Chloe123 that's funny because Lizze absolutely loves that mac and cheese. 🙂

lostandtired

Do any of your kids like to eat Ramon Noodles, uncooked?

kat13

 @lostandtired Yes, my daughter was super crazy about it!!! I talked her out of it over the years. She is also can live on any sweet and sugary breakfast cereals, which she refuses to eat with milk, just dry.

lostandtired

@kat13 I have heard that it's a sensory thing. The crunching fills some sensory related void.

kat13

 @lostandtired  Interesting… Her school therapist never picked up on it. I will ask them in soon upcoming IEP about it and see what they say to it. As she is assumed not to have any sensory problems, only reaction to the high pinch or just loud noise. 

lostandtired

@kat13 that's just what I hear from other parents. I've also been told the same from a few adults with autism as well. 🙂

ciugola

 @lostandtired  @kat13 Anything crunchy will fill that void, ie…pretzels, raw carrots, raw celery, apples…you get the point.  

kat13

Pizza specifically made by the local Smith grocery store.  Used to be chicken nuggets, but not more.  

lostandtired

@kat13 My boys will eat Little Caesars $5 pizzas like there's no tomorrow. Thank God they're so cheap…

AngieLuna

Anthony always wants Campbell’s CREAMY tomato soup, in the sipable cups.  If he won’t eat, sometimes I let him have it.  I try to make him eat what everyone else is having, but that is my last resort

lostandtired

@AngieLuna My kids love Ramon Noodles.

AngieLuna

Anthony always wants Campbell's CREAMY tomato soup, in the sipable cups.  If he won't eat, sometimes I let him have it.  I try to make him eat what everyone else is having, but that is my last resort

Kerri

My son is becoming more open to new foods thankfully (veggies etc).  But occasionally he will protest and it's been a long day and I go to our fall back of pizza quesadillas.  A sprinkling of cheese, some pepperoni or chicken (and whatever else you like on pizza, he tends to be a bland eater like his mum) between two tortillas, throw it in a pan till cheese is melted, cut in quarters like a mini pizza, then dip in pizza sauce (he uses salsa to dip).  Quick, easy and it puts a smile on his face.  Who could resist 😉

lostandtired

@Kerri that's really cool. Typically my kids shy away from anything with sauce. I like the idea though. 🙂

Kerri

 @lostandtired  @Kerri He did too at first.. the dipping didn't happen until recently 🙂

TinaBanks

Hienz Spaghetti hoops from a tin and toast! my lil man will eat that until the cows come home!  And toast is a all round favourite as well ! but hes so under weight at the moment that we are trying to get him to entertain a more variety of foods…mealtimes in my house is ww3 lol

lostandtired

@TinaBanks is that the same as spaghetti-o's? My kids won't touch that for some reason. Thank you for sharing 🙂

TinaBanks

 @lostandtired  @TinaBanks
 Yah i think it is like spaghetti o's     spaghetti in tomato sauce –
 

lostandtired

@TinaBanks the commercials make it sound like all kids love them 🙂

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