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Food ideas for autistic child on hunger strike

(66 Posts)
Obsidion Sun 18-Mar-18 19:47:30

My 10 year old has eaten almost nothing in days. He is crying because he is starving, whilst refusing to eat anything I give him. Anyone have any suggestions?

Jemimapuddleduk Sun 18-Mar-18 19:49:45

My son will always have sweet things, maybe cake and milkshake? Anything just to get calories in him.

MrsHathaway Sun 18-Mar-18 19:51:20

You must be at your wits' end brew

Do you know what his objection is? Does he usually object on grounds of appearance, flavour or texture? Would something like apple sauce appeal, or crustless white bread? Will he drink milk? Does it have to come from a new packet?

FissionChips Sun 18-Mar-18 19:53:06

Could he be in pain/ feeling unwell?

brownelephant Sun 18-Mar-18 19:53:23

yes to drink
whatever he fancies - hot chocolate, ice cream milk shake, smoothie, maybe even full sugar soft drink...
anything to tame the wolf.

what is his usual safe food?

ItsAllABitStrangeReally Sun 18-Mar-18 19:53:27

If leave food casually around the house. The higher in calories, the better.

My d's used to refuse to drink, id just completely ignore it but would leave strategically placed sippy cups (( marked )) lying around. It was the only thing that worked.

ItsAllABitStrangeReally Sun 18-Mar-18 19:54:48

As with the above if he's drinking then massively high calorie milkshakes. Even protein shakes if you can.

Mogleflop Sun 18-Mar-18 19:57:43

Do you know why he's not eating?

What's his "almost nothing", could you give him more of that?

TheSquatLobster Sun 18-Mar-18 19:57:50

Would it help to get him involved in preparing something quick & easy - even if it's just stirring hot chocolate into warm milk? If he's doing it, maybe it would break the cycle of you offering/preparing and him refusing? Good luck, hope he gets past the block soon

Pointeshoes Sun 18-Mar-18 19:58:19

I’ve no experience but would leaving food out ...maybe in every room and you walk out into a different one help just so the attention isn’t on the food? Or maybe if you make cup cakes together / rice crispy cakes and start eating the mixture - go to McDonald’s?! Drive thru ? Xxx

BonesyBones Sun 18-Mar-18 19:58:58

My DS2 is only 3 so the methods of dealing with it may be different but he often doesn't eat for upto a week just drinks LOADS of milk, somehow doesn't lose any weight so we get no support at all with it.

When things are really tough I have three things that I'll try, usually one will work. The first is to prepare a large tray of food that I know he will eat (lots of options) and leave it on the table. He'll usually have a go at something.

Another option is to open all of the food cupboards and fridge and just give him a plate and let him go around and pick stuff. This works far less often but when it does work, it works really well.

Finally, we try "playing the food game" which is just me opening the Tesco app on a tablet and letting him add any 20 things to the basket before bed. I then order it to arrive in the morning when he wakes. I would say a good 7/10 times this works and he will eat the next day, even when he's ordered stuff I already had in the house.

Onceuponatimethen Sun 18-Mar-18 19:58:59

Ice lolly
Sweets for calories
Ribena for calories

Is he verbal?
Have you had medical advice yet?

Sounds very hard flowers

SingaSong12 Sun 18-Mar-18 20:00:09

Does he have any favourite foods or comforting foods? Would he be able to go to a small shop with to pick something (maybe one one the small Tesco/Sainsbury's)? There is choice but not as much as a proper supermarket.

Obsidion Sun 18-Mar-18 20:00:10

He was eating Marks and Spencer's hot cross buns but we have ran out. We got some more from local shop but obviously not the same. So today he has had nothing.

He wants to go to a particular restaurant. We were supposed to go two weeks ago for my birthday but couldn't because we were snowed in. We always go to this particular restaurant when it's a family members birthday. Since then he has asked to go every single day. And is refusing to eat until I take him. I had said we would go when the snow cleared up, but I got tonsillitis and I can barely swallow. I want to wait until I feel better!

Crunchymum Sun 18-Mar-18 20:02:00

I've had tonsillitis and it's grim!!

Can someone else take him to this restaurant?

hazeyjane Sun 18-Mar-18 20:02:05

Agree with the other posts - anything goes to get something in. Also eat in front of a film? IPad etc....sometimes the distraction from what they are eating helps.

Is he constipated? It is very difficult to get my ds to eat when he is backed up. It may also explain the crying - part hunger, part bowel pain?

Is he under a dietician? If so could you give them a call?

Good luck. flowers

oldbirdy Sun 18-Mar-18 20:02:58

Remove the pressure?

You could try an app alarm to say "time to eat" every two hours, and leave a variety of snack foods out that he can help himself to - sandwiches, fruit, weetabix drinks, etc. Never mention food to him?

I recall reading in "George and Sam" (a book about the author's two autistic children) how when George stopped eating his mum would make food, say "this is Sam's breakfast." And wander off . Most times George would eat some.

raffle Sun 18-Mar-18 20:03:21

Would the restaurant make you a meal to take away?

Or is it the actual place he wants?

It’s so hard OP, our DS with ASD is a good refuser too

CallarMorvern Sun 18-Mar-18 20:06:27

Someone on my Facebook posted an interview with an autistic girl. One of the things she talked about was she liked food that was the colour of her skin, as that was safe and familiar. I realise every child is different, but would beige food work?...toast, potato waffles, chicken nuggets, pancakes, milkshakes, biscuits...
My friend's autistic child will eat finger food if he has his tablet at the table, as he is eating but concentrating on something else.

What does he usually eat?

Obsidion Sun 18-Mar-18 20:06:41

We've tried offering all his usual favourites.

These are all great suggestions thank you. So hard to know what to do for the best.

MinaPaws Sun 18-Mar-18 20:07:13

DS2 (also autistic) was just like this. And the more they have severe hunger pangs, the less they feel like eating, as real hunger makes them feel queasy and gives them stomach ache.

For us, the only way to do it was through rubbish food. Start with sugar. it's addictive. Not ideal under normal circumstances but because it is, it can get their appetite back. If he has a favourite TV character, buy whatever sugary tat is connected to them. very slowly (and I know how slow it is - took us years and years, not months of weeks) start to switch trashy food for home made versions. I spent years making home made chicken nuggets. Once he;d eat plain sponge cake I'd make my own with soya and almond flour instead of wheat, and extra eggs, butter and cream, so that each slice had the highest amount of protein and calories I could find.

Don't worry at all if he gets fixated on one food. If he'll only eat rice crispies for six months, let him. Just add Abidec drops to the milk for vitamins. My DS like dthe Boots jelly teddy vitamins and would eat a packet of those a day, as they are just like sweets.

Feeding an autistic child is a completely different game from feeding a fussy eater, so avoid tips from people who think he'll eat if he's hungry or should eat what you give him.

It may not be true for you but I found he was much more open to trying food if we were out than at home. At a Christmas fair he suddenly insisted on trying chicken kebabs and loved them. He'd eat Pizza express pizza. If he ever shows interest in any food, however rubbish, give in to it immediately. It teaches them to be experimental and that food is fun. DS now eats a really wide range of foods - as much as an NT teenager, but for the first eight years it was a non-stop battle. Worth it though.

MinaPaws Sun 18-Mar-18 20:09:14

I agree with Callar that using a screen as a diversion tactic is good. I used to let him watch favourite programmes and then tuck tiny amounts of food that he'd tolerate into his mouth so he'd eat it without noticing.

Obsidion Sun 18-Mar-18 20:09:36

He usually eats toast, carrots, and broccoli. That's about it at the moment. It's getting worse in general. He has been enjoying hot cross buns from Marks and Spencer's - the chocolate ones.

ShortandAnnoying Sun 18-Mar-18 20:10:50

Maybe a McDonald's? That's often a favourite with children with some food issues.

MinaPaws Sun 18-Mar-18 20:10:54

Have you aske dhim what he liked at the restaurant? You may be able to order a delivery from them for him.

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