Vegetables for a child with sensory issues(12 Posts)
Can anyone offer some ideas? DS (age 4) has some sensory issues and they effect his diet. I'm trying to have him eat as healthily as possible but am running up against a brick wall wrt vegetables. He used to be funny with the texture of meat too but we seem to have mostly got over that and I always had fish, eggs and nuts as a go to for protein.
DS will not eat "mixed" meals like cottage pie or stew, or sauce on pasta/gnocchi etc (though I can get away with a tiny bit coating it, it's not enough to hide veg in), so hiding veg is limited to when I do a meal with mash and make it equal parts white potato, carrot, sweet potato, cauliflower and, when I can get it, celeriac. We can't have mash every night!
He will eat raw mushrooms usually, as long as they're fresh, avacado, baked beans, sometimes cooked carrot or roasted parsnips. Has eaten cauliflower once or twice. Won't go anywhere near peas, sweetcorn, salad, dark green leafy stuff, etc. He'll eat most fruit until it's coming out of his ears, though some types have to have be prepped in a certain way such as the skin removed from plums, but he needs veg too. Taste isn't the issues I don't think as much as texture - he'll eat spicy or other strong tasting stuff quite happily if the texture is right.
Does anyone have any suggestions/recipes? I'm not the best cook, and currently have a newborn in NICU so have little time, so simple recipes preferred, but even more complicated recipes would be welcome and can wait until I have time to have a crack at them. Oh, he's CMPI so dairy is a no-no, but I can substitute fairly well.
Could you work with the mash - so make extras and fry in patties the next night? At least it's a chsnge from mash and sounds like you can get a good range of stuff in there.
How is he with roast veg? Maybe some oven roast sweet pot chips. Roasted squash, parsnips, whatever he might fancy.
I totally get the sensory stuff as a) I have a dd with HUGE sensory dysfunction and b) it is my day job!
However, I will say, that in part some of these issues are entirely likely to be 4 yr old related, so while obviously exacerbated by the sensory stuff, may phase out over time as he matures.
Sounds like he prefers soft to chewy? So mushed up stuff rather than whole or things with a bite to them? So e.g... peas. He won't eat peas, but will he eat mushy peas? Or creamed sweetcorn? Is it colour related? It actually sounds like he is eating a fairly good range. You don't have to eat mash every night, but if he will, is it worth making a load and freezing it in portions? That way, he can have a bit with every meal, while you continue to give him the other bits to desensitise a little. It may be that it is more helpful to have your veg in serving bowls rather than on plates, so it is not touching other food and also he then controls the probably minute bit he will tolerate if any.
I liquidise a lot.
So if making cottage pie, spag bolognese, chilli, pasta sause etc I liquidise all veg, and only use pasata.
If it's lump free DD seems to not notice - so it's not the flavour she doesn't like. I think it's the texture and possibly even a mental block re: veg because it's made her wretch and vomit in the past.
Also I don't worry if she eats the same 4 vegatables all the time.
She likes raw carrot and cucumber so eats those every single day. Sometimes sweetcorn and peas, and liquidised veg in meals occasionally. That's pretty much it.
With fruit it's only cherries, apples or grapes.
She has a very limited diet, but as long as it contains all food groups I've stopped stressing about variety.
If roast veg sometimes works and he quite likes strong flavours, what about roast courgette, you could use garlic oil.
This is one of both my ds faves and ds2 also won't eat peas or sweet corn, tho he will be at corn on the cob, random child that he is.
Also, finely grated carrot mixed with hummus and stuffed in pitta goes down well with ds2.
BTW, avocados are stuffed full of vitamins n minerals so with those and lots of other fruits, I think you're doing really well!
Thanks for the ideas.
Highlove that's a great idea, I can't believe it didn't occur to me to do mash patties! Will try those ASAP.
Catrin I will try mushy peas, we've never had them as I don't like them and I don't think DH does. I really hope he grows out of it!
Hissette, liquidising doesn't work, as he won't eat mixed meals or pasta sauces etc. I think you're right, I shouldn't worry too much. It just sometimes realise he's not had veg for a couple of days (though he has had fruit).
He loves hummus,*Nailslikeknives*, but I expect grated carrot would put him off entirely. I might try the roasted courgette, though I expect as it's green he won't try it. Maybe as crisps done in the oven?
Generally I've found that things with a higher sugar content make good oven crisps eg beetroot, parsnip, sweet pot, apple. Never done courgette, let me know if that works.
How about a vegetable pie with a smooth filling? DCs love it with leek and courgette, courgette and mint, broccoli, spinach, broccoli and spinach, etc.
Basic recipe is to make a dough with oil and flour (plus a little salt and white wine, or water, but nicer with wine), then flatten and fill with the vegetable filling, which is basically pan-fried vegetables, mashed an mixed with eggs plus cheese or cheese substitute. It takes less than 30 minutes to make, plus 30 to bake, and lasts a few days, plus freezes and defreeses well in portions. Happy to provide details if you like.
Would he eat the sauce if separate from the pasta, eg in its own little bowl?
I sometimes add roasted red or yellow pepper to hummus when I make it - blended down you can't tell its there from a texture point of view, just adds flavour/sweetness. I guess you could also blend other veggies into hummus.
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