Home » Autism » My Son Eats Like @$#%

My Son Eats Like @$#%

We all know that children with autism often are ‘selective’ eaters.  This wasn’t always a problem for Lukas.  In fact, after we started him on solid foods he ate pretty much everything we set in front of him (except prunes – blecchhhhh).  When we began his evaluations at age two the ‘picky eater’ category was not one we checked off on the list of possible red flags for autism.  I think we jinxed ourselves.

It wasn’t long after this that he started downright refusing foods he used to love.  Of course it’s mostly the healthy stuff that’s been nixed: bananas, yogurt, Nutrigrain bars, any type of vegetable that is not in juice form… Etc etc.

Now, before I was actually a mommy, I had a lot of opinions on foods my son would eat when hell froze over.  Happy Meals, candy, sweets, chips – pretty much all the good stuff.  What a freakin’ judgmental idiot.  Now, I know there are parents out there who are superheroes and their kids only eat organic woo hoo wonder foods.  Good for you, that is really awesome and I wish you knew your secrets and had the time you have.  Please share your tips below but don’t bother to keep reading  – this rant is not for you.  For the rest of us, let me just be honest here… My son eats like sh*t.

I hate this fact.  I have tried and tried to get him to eat more diversely, but for every  step forward we take two steps back.  Lukas’s basic daily diet looks like this:

Breakfast: granola bar, milk, v8

snack: pb sandwich crackers of which he eats the peanut butter and gives the cracker to the dog

Lunch: cereal or another granola bar, v8

snack: Cheez-its, milk

Dinner: chicken nuggets, and maybe a few bites of Mac and cheese. Water, milk

Notice there is not a single fruit or vegetable in this list.  V8 is the only source of his fruit and veggie intake.  And he has candy probably twice a week.  Mostly because the grocery store is a crappy place to have to take an autistic child with sensory issues and m&m’s keeps him quiet long enough for me to grab some things and run.  And I admit, he gets a Happy Meal once a week.  For shame…

I am certainly not trying to make light of the issue.  I worry about him getting the nutrients he needs.  But I really think I am more the norm here than the exception…

I obviously do not have my son on the GFCF diet.  And you now what, that does not make me a bad mom.  Lukas has no bowel or intestinal issues and his autism is pretty darn mild.  He doesn’t have any symptoms or behaviors similar to those you hear about for children who have success on this diet.  GFCF would be healthier for everyone, but after careful consideration and discussion with his Developmental Pediatrician and my gem of a co-worker who happens to be a nationally renowned autism specialist, we chose not to go that route.

Notice I didn’t include Lukas’s pediatrician in the above list.  I did raise my concern about Lukas’s eating and his ridiculous clueless response was “feed him the same food you eat.” YOU @$*#% MORON! Have you ever even heard of autism?  Do you know ANYTHING about it?

So, no help there.  And if you are reading this, Dr. M, please feel free to invite my son to dinner and show me how it’s done.

My son is a warrior.  He fights tooth and nail every day to do what most children don’t even have to think about, and he does it with a huge smile on his face, and pure joy in his heart. I want him to eat better, and hopefully we can get there with time and patience, but I will not make the table another battlefield.  I would love to hear some real tips from people have had gone through this and had success.  Until then, I’ve got to head to the grocery store, we’re out of chicken nuggets…

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12 thoughts on “My Son Eats Like @$#%

  1. Oh ny goodness, my son was a garbage disposable until 18 months, too. Now it’s carbs and dairy (besides milk and white cheese). And if one more person tells me to just not give him food until he eats his veggies…I’m going to snap. 😉

    • Amen! So much of what you read about in popular media lauds parents of autistic children who have gone with the biomedical method, GFCF diets and alternative therapies. They deserve to be lauded for sure, but not every child on the spectrum needs those type of interventions or is successful with them. I think more needs to be said for those of us who fight tooth and nail with insurance companies, government entities, doctors, providers etc to get the treatment your child needs, and then do what you need to do every day to make sure those needs are being met. My husband and I have worked opposite shifts for over two years now. I think that makes us warriors too!

      • Oops 🙂 squash in the brownies, ect) and I just made myself crazy and wasted a TON of food, money, and time. Aversions are aversions. It’s not like neurotypical kids that don’t like broccoli.

        Though I did speak with an adult autistic that clued me into issues with utensils (it’s the scraping sound on the teeth and the plate that she hates) and I gave Jp some actual new foods as long as they were plain and presented as finger foods. 🙂

      • Oh my son does not fall for that for a second! Haha. I am so glad you said that too about aversions. I had some comments on my Facebook about this blog and several people said ” this isn’t autism,it’s just being a toddler.” Well of course I know that the majority of toddlers are picky eaters. My whole point was that you can’t approach this issue like you would for a neurotypical child. Lukas also eats most foods with his fingers. I never even considered the utensil thing! I just know he has some fine motor issues and using utensils is difficult. Thanks for that insight! I work in a high school with children with various disabilities and I asked some of my spectrum kids about food. I got a lot of great insight into textures, flavor overload, mixed flavors (like spaghetti sauce for ex.) and other issues. Most of them said that they grew more accustomed to different foods as they got older. I’m just going to keep doing what I’m doing, add new foods he and there and go with the flow!

        Sent from my iPad

      • Trust me, I’m like you. I go with the flow when it comes to Jp. Sometimes he does outgrow features and some are stuck like glue. I love him either way. What are eating habits, really? So what if other kids make him a little nervous? Speaking in sentences is overrated, right? One word gets the job done just fiiiiiiine. 😉

        I’m just now cluing into the complex flavor issue, too. They never fly. 🙂 But Jp has zero fine motor issues and using the fork and spoon is just not his “thing”. And for things that require (oatmeal, ect) utensils I have bought super thin plastic ones and he does a lot better with them.

        You’re doing great. Do as I do and take the advice of people with neurotypical kids to heart as much as you do marriage advice from single people…not at all. Don’t let them make you feel like what you are doing is wrong. As long as you are both healthy and happy…that’s all that really matters. 🙂

      • Awe, thank you! And if you look down in my comment sections, look for “Gareeth” and follow her. She is an adult autistic that really cares about helping us raise atypical children. She is always more than willing to give advice or lend support. She truly believes the only way to change the bad that came from her childhood is by educating the Moms of today. It’s not a popular thought in the adult autism community but she is a rare and wonderful blessing and I have learned so much from her. 🙂

  2. Warriors for certain. I just don’t fight with Jp. If he doesn’t like something I don’t push it and reintroduce it every so often to see if it changed but I am not going to drive everyone crazy with the forcing of fad diets or things that he is adverse to. Days are hard enough as it is sometimes without introducing that crazy, too. 🙂

    • I completely agree. He has enough difficulties each day without being so rigid with his diet. I will put stuff on his plate and if he eats it he eats it… I try to introduce new foods too but I never force him to eat anything and I certainly don’t make him ” eat this or nothing”. Thanks for your helpful words. I think my whole point in this blog is just to show an everyday normal mom. I cringe when I look through Pinterest but let’s face it, I can’t cook, and I would prefer to spend my time playing with my son instead of making homemade things for him to play with when I can just buy something or give him the empty paper towel tube lol.

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