What have you resorted to in order to get your child with #Autism to eat?



Dietary issues are pretty common when dealing with kids on the #autism spectrum. Factor in things like food allergies and sensory issues and it really can get complicated. I can’t stress this enough. I wish people would throw away the old saying that if their hungry they’ll eat. I don‘t think that it applies here.

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We aren’t talking about just picky eaters. These kids have a physical aversion to certain colors, smells, tastes and textures. They’re not being difficult. In many cases the child will go hungry rather than eat something that will upset them. When you add in food allergies or special diets, you’re essentially removing options that can make getting them to actually eat, extremely difficult. My Elliott’s the same way. We met with a dietitian yesterday to seek advice. Elliott is losing weight and hasn’t grown in the last year or so. One of the things we are focusing on, aside from avoid tree nuts, is increasing his caloric intake. I’ll be honest, I’ve basically violated many of the rules in parenting 101. At times, I have resorted to bribery, in order to get him to eat. Tonight, for example, I ordered pizza because I knew he would eat it. I’ve been trying to get him to eat all day and at most he would nibble and that’s it. I don‘t want to hound him or have him develope unhealthy eating habits, but the bottom line is that he needs to eat. I know many of you face the same problems, perhaps for different reasons. I’m so tired of trying to explain to people how much sensory processing issues can complicate dietary things. I think it’s a difficult concept to grasp. Thankfully, most of our family is on board. I still get the odd, if he’s really hungry, he’ll eatfrom people. I was thinking it would be a good thing to talk about this and share our experience, tips and tricks. How have you coped with this type of dietary struggle? Please share your story in the comments below. 🙂

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About Rob Gorski

Father to 3 with Autism and husband to my best friend. Oh...and creator fo this blog. :-)

  

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PurpleLogicGlitch
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PurpleLogicGlitch

I was a very very picky eater as a child. It had to look pretty, smeel good and be sweet for me to want it. My mom used to make milkshakes with veggies, meat and other healthy stuff hidden in them,  along with the banana milk and chocolate. Like your famous soup, try hiding the healthy stuff

MicheleChaney
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MicheleChaney

I tend to make food that will push the sensory buttons without going into overload. After a while it doesn’t bother them and I can push some more. I also say that you need to eat whether you like it or not, taking away privleges if it is not at least partly eaten. I also supplement, which helps with sensory overload. If they don’t get there supplements for a couple days they have more problems with their food.

MicheleChaney
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MicheleChaney

Tough love works some of the time, have to pick my battles, usually gauge what is needed by reaction. With my oldest progress was only made by being tough, he would take advantage of the situation otherwise and not try to push through some of his issues…seemed to get better as he got older as well. 🙂

JenniferWhynott
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JenniferWhynott

I am so over it with food issues, it is rediculous. My daughter who is 10 now gagged on baby jar food until she was 9 months old, pediatrician did nothing because she was gaining weight. By the time she was 2 we resorted to the you cannot leave the table until you try 1 bite of everything, that wasted hours a day. At 4 she went on a five day hunger strike because she found a sliver of meat hidden in her noodles. All she consumed was 2 glasses of milk daily. By 6 we were running out of… Read more »

rmagliozzi
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rmagliozzi

@JenniferWhynott Have you tried things to lower the anxiety, like relaxing music, supplements like magnesium or ashawagandha? We use both on my son because he has major anxiety. I have also heard low zinc levels can cause picky eating.

rmagliozzi
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rmagliozzi

what about planning a meal and snack menu each week and letting Elliot help plan it? That way he might feel like he has more control over it and won’t be so scared of having a food reaction. I am sure his favorite foods will be on the list as well.

T
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T

Our DS7 is a very picky eater, too.  He currently eats about 20 foods, mostly pretzels and similar snacks, chicken nuggets, and dairy.  We’ve found that he does like the Ensure chocolate milkshakes, so he has one for breakfast every morning.  His dev ped said let him eat whatever just to get calories in, so we encourage ice cream and full cream yogurt as well.  After an initial weight loss on Aderall, his weight stabilized and is increasing again.   Regarding the food allergies, is it just tree nuts?  My daughter is allergic to tree nuts and peanuts, had an asthma, vomiting, and hives reaction… Read more »

Rob Gorski
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@JenniferWhynott @MicheleChaney @PurpleLogicGlitch @lostandtired @rmagliozzi @T Great feed back everyone. 🙂

malignantmom
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malignantmom

My son only eats about 4 things and that’s being generous because the main dish is hot dogs with american cheese. Once in awhile rice and gravy minus and meat, pepperoni pizza but he hasn’t been wanting at home lately only when we are out, once in awhile grilled cheese maybe every 4 months, and bacon. His favorite snacks are pretzels and mini m&m’s in the tube only. The only thing he will drink is tropical punch kool aid so not the healthiest diet but I give him what he wants or he will not eat. I have begged, threatened,… Read more »

rdhded2000
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rdhded2000

My aspie eats about 10 different foods which unfortuantely are not the best.  Therefore he is about 25 pounds overweight which is a whole other health issue.  Since chicken nuggets are a staple, I have found ways to make “new” chicken nuggets that are healthier.  Also, my son is very sedentary and I think that is part of the problem.  Do other parents have that issue?  My son refuses to do anything remotely physical because he is “afraid” he will fall.  Therapy helps with the anxiety, but nor necessarilly with the action.  I am about to lose my mind! Texture… Read more »

Kathleen
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Kathleen

My Aspie son, now 11.5 years, has had sensory issue, food preferences, food aversions, and food “jags” since day 1.  No known allergies.  He nursed very well and transitioned to oatmeal fine (with mushed up egg yolks), and then would only consume orange veggies & fruit for many years.  About 4 years ago, he decided he hated meat, and now he is a steadfast vegetarian.  There’s been a lot of recent changes in his diet – driven by him, since I have truly not been able to choose for him ever, despite trying essentially everything other people mentioned here 🙂… Read more »

Cheryl
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Cheryl

Ha ha ha. If they are hungry they will eat . Sounds a lot like if they get tired enought they will go to sleep. Not so much! I make a meal and most of the time the three year olds sits there until we leave the table and then he sneaks in and eats it. Guess he doesn’t like our company. He on likes food that is portable. Like to walk and eat. Obviously not many restaurant visits!

stacey kavanagh
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stacey kavanagh

My Jordan is the same. I've tried so hard to get him to eat. I'm sick of people that haven't a clue saying hello eat when hes hungry I dont want my child to starve.then I finally get him to eat sausages and he likes them.I have people moaning hell put on weight. Omg. I'm like butt out. It's head wrecking