How many of you have children with feeding problems?

There are so many challenges facing parents of kids with Autism, that it’s truly amazing how much they accomplish, especially when you gain a better understanding of challenges themselves.

Some challenges are more difficult than others but few are as taxing as feeding issues.

Many kids with Autism have sensory processing challenges as well.  Sensory related food proclivities are among the most difficult challenges I face as an Autism Parent. Between the enormous financial burden, worry and shear frustration, it’s absolutely exhausting. 

I worry because my kids will literally go hungry if I don’t accommodate their needs.  These kids will starve before eating something that’s sensory offensive. 

This is such a misunderstood condition and unless you’re dealing with it everyday, it’s very difficult to fully understand.  This can create tension between the parent and those around them that feel the parent is coddling their child too much. 

Making multiple meals for breakfast, lunch and dinner is exhausting, not to mention expensive. It’s also not unusual to have to go through this a few times for each meal and for each kid. 

As part of raising awareness for Autism families, I thought it would be good to share our personal experience with this particular challenge.

Here’s a great example from my personal life, that actually happened today. 

My youngest, Emmett, is very sensory oriented and getting him to eat anything is not easy.  The latest thing that’s proving to be challenging with my very limited grocery budget this month is seen in the picture below..

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Emmett will eat these little cups of Mac N Cheese but only with butter and salt. The kicker here is that he won’t eat this with the cheese.  These little bowls of macaroni and cheese are not cheap and to only eat them one way (without the cheese), seems like a huge waste of money.

At least he eats but I could just buy plain noodles and save a ton of cash….

I’d love to hear your experience in this challenging area… What foods will your child tolerate or not tolerate well? Do you find yourself frustrated?

7 Comments

  1. Kim Gebhardt

    I have nothing to add or say about food sensory issues, but since Emmett seems to want noodles and butter, why not try some of the vegetable-based pastas so you can get some vegetables into him? Also, you already mentioned that you could save money by buying a box of plain noodles, so why not do that? Cook the whole box and put it right in the fridge. It microwaves right up with a little butter and tastes fine.

  2. Kim Gebhardt

    I have nothing to add or say about food sensory issues, but since Emmett seems to want noodles and butter, why not try some of the vegetable-based pastas so you can get some vegetables into him? Also, you already mentioned that you could save money by buying a box of plain noodles, so why not do that? Cook the whole box and put it right in the fridge. It microwaves right up with a little butter and tastes fine.

  3. Ann M

    My son will eat most things but I have to cut it into bite sized pieces first. It also has to either be in apple sauce or heavily sauced itself. So he eats a lot of pastas and meats in apple sauce. But he eats. He doesn’t feed himself, though, and the advice that he’d do it if he was really hungry has been debunked by just about every doctor we’ve been to. He would literally starve to death with the food right in front of him before he’d pick up a fork to feed himself.

    Honestly if I were you, I would buy a big box of elbow macaroni and save one or two of those mac and cheese bowls, cook the elbow macaroni to his specifications and then serve it in the easy mac container. These autistic kids are smart, so he might notice that it is a con, but he might not. It’s worth a shot.

  4. Ann M

    My son will eat most things but I have to cut it into bite sized pieces first. It also has to either be in apple sauce or heavily sauced itself. So he eats a lot of pastas and meats in apple sauce. But he eats. He doesn’t feed himself, though, and the advice that he’d do it if he was really hungry has been debunked by just about every doctor we’ve been to. He would literally starve to death with the food right in front of him before he’d pick up a fork to feed himself.

    Honestly if I were you, I would buy a big box of elbow macaroni and save one or two of those mac and cheese bowls, cook the elbow macaroni to his specifications and then serve it in the easy mac container. These autistic kids are smart, so he might notice that it is a con, but he might not. It’s worth a shot.

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