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When does fussy eating become a problem? Should I seek help for DS?

(7 Posts)
crokky Wed 04-Nov-09 18:06:03

I don't know whether I should be worried about DS's eating.

DS is almost 3.8 and at a school nursery which he loves. Until he was 3, he was at home with me so any food issues that he has must stem from home.

He will usually eat: cheese sandwich, marmite sandwich, cheese alone, ham alone, juice, water, crackers, innocent smoothie, banana, apple, organix baby snacks, chocolate and mcD chips (nothing else from mcD), toast and marmite

He will sometimes eat: milk, yoghurt, grapes, cucumber, carrot (raw), cake

He has been offered a hot meal at school every single day this term (and last term). He has been allowed to play with this food and is deliberately sat between 2 children who are very good eaters. He has refused EVERY SINGLE meal ! They will give him a piece of cheese/piece of dry bread/fruit and he will eat this for lunch.

Today is typical, he's had crackers with butter and marmite for his tea and some milk. Quite a large quantity of crackers.

He seems to be healthy and his speech is normal/average for his age. He is very tall and skinny and I have never seen a 3yo with soooo much energy. Nothing will knacker him out and he has not slept in the day since he was a baby. He will do 5 full days at nursery school, love every minute of it and participate fully. However, he will still go to bed at 9pm (at least). He has a few minor ASD traits, but they are so minor that I have been told if he needs a diagnosis, it will not be given for at least 4 years because is is mild. (We have aspergers in the family so I am quite familiar with it). It does not seem to be causing him issues at nursery, although the staff are aware of it and make a special effort to ensure he is not left behind or isolated.

When he was a baby, I breastfed him til he was 13m. During this time, he ate any food that was offered to him, not fussy at all. He still ate most things until he was about 15-17m and then started refusing stuff. He drank cows milk from 12-16m but then refused it - only in the last couple of months have we been able to reintroduce it.

I also have a DD who is 19m. She eats anything and everything. Occasionally she will spit something out if she doesn't like the taste. Often DS will be sitting at the table with DD and he will put his food onto DD's highchair. She will happily eat it, but I do watch out as I want to know what he has actually eaten.

Regarding his intake of chocolate and chips, these are very limited and he is not holding out for them to be offered. Recently, we deliberately went 2 months with all choc and chips totally banned for him (he didn't know about it, he never saw any) and it did not make any difference to the amount of proper food he consumed (small). He will regularly refuse breakfast and lunch and then eat a lot of crackers with butter and marmite in the afternoon. If he refuses a meal, it doesn't affect him at all.

Would you seek help it this was your child and if so, where would you get the help from? I am worried that it was something I did and I am worried about DD starting to not eat as well. Additionally, I know toddlers can be extremely fussy, but where does it end? At what age must they start eating properly?

crokky Wed 04-Nov-09 18:54:14


Eveiebaby Wed 04-Nov-09 20:40:57

Hi Crokky

My DD's eating habits sounds a lot like your DS. DD has not eaten a proper meal since she was about 15 months (now 3.4). Up until then she would eat jars of baby food and home made meals. DD is currently under assesment and ASD has been mentioned. I know picky eating is common in lots of toddlers but I think it can also be a trait of ASD. I am at a loss myself.
Sorry I have not been able to offer any practical advice.

hettie Wed 04-Nov-09 21:13:04

not an expert on this perse, but am aware that odd/restricitve eating patterns can be common in apergers......maybe you could ask your current ASD 'contacts' what there take is on this?

crokky Thu 05-Nov-09 10:52:10

Perhaps it may be the ASD causing these eating problems. Regarding the ASD, the eating problems are really the only thing that would distinguish DS from a NT child on the face of it - nobody can see the ASD otherwise unless they spend a huge of time with him and put together a lot of very subtle markers. A close family member works in a SN school and has not realised that DS potentially has ASD so that is how mild the ASD is (she is the type of person to say so!).

Also, my brothers do have (diagnosed) Aspergers and their eating was strange as children. However, the strange eating was not like DS's at all - I had thought that children with ASD are more likely to refuse things like cheese and milk than, say, some pasta.

Marioandluigi Thu 05-Nov-09 11:51:56

My DS2 has ASD and is a terrible eater. He wont eat hot food, or anything too wet. He cant feed himself and wont let anyone else, so his diet cosists of toast, bananas, raisins and rice cakes.

It could be a sensory thing. His diet doesnt sound too bad, and ife he generally healthy I would try not to worry to much (unlike me who worries all the time - I should take my own advice!)

crokky Thu 05-Nov-09 13:08:31

Right, it's unanimous!! This eating problem must be part of his ASD. I think I will do a new thread in special needs to find out how people have helped their DC with this sort of problem so that I can start to try and help him.

Thanks for your help everyone.

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