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…