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autitic ds will not eat meals!

(35 Posts)
buzzzybee Sun 31-Jul-11 17:32:45

hi was just wondering if anybody has any advice? my 3yr old ds will not touch a meal sad he lives on toast doughnuts grapes and chocolate ,refuses anything else. its getting worse and i honestly don't know what 2 do anymore any1 have any advice pls? thanks

Triggles Sun 31-Jul-11 18:30:17

DS2 (5yo) is very picky about eating as well. Certain textures and things he just won't eat. It can get a bit frustrating.

We try to counteract it with a few things:
- always try to make sure there is at least one thing on the plate that he likes, such as bread and butter
- mealplan so that we have a meal that we know he will eat at least every other night, so we know he is eating a fairly decent meal at least every other night
- he always has to try at least one bite of everything on the plate, as long as he does that, I'm fine with allowing him some fruit for a snack later
- if there's something on the plate that I know he will eat (spaghetti, beans, etc) then he has to eat 6 full bites of it (counting is a big deal for him, so the counting bites is helpful for us). Often once he's eaten 6 bites, he'll continue to eat some more.

DS2 has added some foods to his list of foods he'll eat, but it's still a struggle. I remember how upset I was getting when he was 3 and would hardly eat anything. As long as he's not losing weight or risking malnutrition, keep presenting other foods to him - it took 3 years of presenting carrots and peas to him before he finally started eating them.

Triggles Sun 31-Jul-11 18:30:59

that being said, if I could live on doughnuts and chocolate... some days I would!!! well, with a bit of wine grin

drivemecrazy63 Sun 31-Jul-11 19:25:10

ive tried all that triggles you cant get ds to try anything new whatsoever he truly will go for 5 days without a bite trying which is scary and he ca love a food eat it for months then go off it and will gag or puke if you try and make him eat it. quite common in as/asd i know as the SS are even trying by having food taster lessons and in 6 months he has tried 1 food apple as long as only at school the teacher chops it a certain way and he nibbles it but wont eat the skin(texture again) i was surprised she got him to even eat that 6 months of her asking him to join them at snack time everyday whe all the class eat fruit sadbut i guess compared to 3 years of offering peas or carrots its good, ive got him to eat sweetcorn once but never again second time he nearly vomited ...it really upsets me as the bigger fuss you make the worse they get but its very hard and very worrying.

drivemecrazy63 Sun 31-Jul-11 19:29:59

blush so sorry OP i hyjacked there, I guess id go with what triggles says make sure if putting something new on the plate that theres old favorites as well, my other problem with this is DS has an adversion to foods touching they must all be seperate and not slip and touch or he cant eat anything , someone a couple days ago mentioned a book to me from Amazon it did make me feel better im waiting for it to come in post now called:
www.amazon.co.uk/Cant-Eat-Wont-Difficulties-Disorders/dp/1853029742

it was familiar and interesting have a look at the link then click on the book to view pages of it HTH

Triggles Sun 31-Jul-11 19:36:44

and don't be afraid to be sneaky. lol....

DS2 will eat spaghetti (although sometimes has to be coaxed a bit), but you'd be amazed at what veg you can chop up (or use food processor to make it REALLY small!) and tuck into bolognaise sauce!! grin

and he loves muffins... will eat almost any kind.. so then you try to make muffins that are made of things he doesn't normally eat.. like carrot cake muffins or courgette muffins or rhubarb muffins.. grin

we make sloppy joes (american thing - mince, with american mustard, ketchup and worchestershire sauce mixed in and heated up - then scooped into a hamburger bun) and he'll eat sometimes about half of one, occasionally a whole one. Sometimes just to get another meat in him, we'll use minced lamb instead. He doesn't even notice the difference, still eats as normal. grin

drivemecrazy63 Sun 31-Jul-11 19:43:37

such great ideas but my ds has a dozen foods he eats none with any kind of sauce i just keep hoping he will see us eating all these other delish things and one day just try a few but hes 11 now and its not happening doesnt mean it wont work for others inc buzzzybee though ... that all sounds so scrummy i love carrot cake so carrot muffins Mmmm

Triggles Sun 31-Jul-11 19:45:38

heh.. that's pretty much the only sauce he'll tolerate, which is why spaghetti bolognaise is usually the "hide-all" culprit for veg... grin

drivemecrazy63 Sun 31-Jul-11 19:52:35

ill keep trying with spag bol the troule is easy for him to push aside and not even contemplate trying as he has to have all in seperate bowls/plates makes it so easy to ignore, hes that bad with this hes one of the only dcs i know who doesnt like tin spag or beans or chips hes even like it with types of chocolate ( he loves choccy) but only cadburys or yorkie no other brands or choc with something inside , and crisps no other than salt and vinegar walkers he wont even eat walkers crinkle ones, he says all the other brands taste too vinegary confused or too salty or there just horrible and gags

drivemecrazy63 Sun 31-Jul-11 19:53:44

hey from what i read he will eat anything in years to come as the taste buds die off as you grow older we only have a third left by 70 grin

defineme Sun 31-Jul-11 19:57:41

Ds1 is as and was eating peeled fishfingers and chips at every mesal at that age. He eats quite a rsange at the age of 9.
I just kept plugging away, but never tried to persuade him cos he did the gag/puke too. So I justt put it on/near his plate and hoped for the best. Eating out was easier cos he feels less pressuer than at home. Or he eats in another room...try not to feel sad!
Jelly made with fruit /veg juice.
Bread/cakes made with veg. Used ground almonds in cakes for protein.
Fizzy drinks made with fruit/veg juice and fizzy water/lemonade. Ice lollies made with fruit juice.

If doughnuts are his thing I'd be buying a deep fat fryer and experimenting.

Starting school helped-he tried jam and marmite sandwiches from peers lunches and has now graduated to peanut butter at home-a vast improvement on the bread and butter he ate until he was 5!

He moved on from fishfingers to fish pieces in batter and eventually fish pie.
Good luck.

Triggles Sun 31-Jul-11 19:58:12

DS2 won't eat tinned spaghetti either. Beans took literally FOREVER before he would eat them. We'd have beans and toast for tea, and he'd fill up on toast, after having one bite of beans. Then suddenly one day he had a couple bites. Now it's 6 full bites (with coaxing) and occasionally more if he's distracted (and loses count grin). I just about danced across the house when I realised he was starting to eat beans! blush

drivemecrazy63 Sun 31-Jul-11 21:18:08

im pleased these things work for others just ive tried all that and hasnt worked for us maybe its the degree of autism IYKWIM that affects tasebuds and gagging reflex ive no idea but he wont even eat any form of bread it makes lunch incredibly difficult with only a dozen items in world he will eat and he will even not eat things he likes if there too brown (cooked really as they should be) you cant imagine the technic involved in cooking stealth like getting it cooked through but no brown or hard edges ... grin somehow ive become an expert over the years he doesnt eat icecream or lollies or sauces everything must be beige/light brown he eats peanut butter on toast or crosant (plain with nothing else) or ready brek for breakfast (luckily loves fresh orange juice no bits) lunch is same every day billy bear no other type of meat angel cake (or pink cake as he calls it) and a yorkie biscuit,more orange juice and a bottle of diluted juice with high juice orange (no aspartame) and walkers salt ad vinegar any variations he will go without, and his dinner is same day in day out untill he goes off the particular foods onto something else just as bad sad he has atm fresh chicken nuggets, and a turkey dinosaur and more billy bear no desert he doesnt like ice cream or yoghurtor fromage frais or fruit he usually just has a drink, he does have a glass of milk a day too, he likes coke or 7 up but we only let him have that friday and saturdays a weekend treat and of course he will eat cadbury's choc till cows come home, he has multi vits with extra calc and ABCD&E he sees all of us eating normally at the table together but still eats his and shows food no real interest to him its a necessity rather than a pleasure i think as he cant eat it quick enough and wants to get back to whatever he was doing before he is quite happy as always trying to skip mealtime altogether saying i dont need aything to eat, he was very very underweight but now im allowing him to eat more of what hes asking for hes getting chubby prob because its so processed though he put the most o when a while back his fave dinner for over a year was fresh roast chicken and bacon everyday but hes gone off thise atm

Triggles Sun 31-Jul-11 21:34:58

I think you just have to hang in there, keep trying new stuff, and cross fingers, really.

DS2 eats the same lunch every day - either egg mayo or tuna mayo sandwich, pretzels, raisins... occasionally we can throw a curve ball in there, but rarely...

He doesn't like "hot" foods - as in temperature - he likes them room temperature, which can be tricky - obviously we don't like to risk food poisoning hmm But nothing mashed, only cooked peas or raw carrots, occasionally sweet corn, but while he'll say he loves it, he'll only eat about 4-5 kernels with his fingers then declare he's done. No regular roast meats. Mince in a few different meals - maybe 3 or 4 - and it's not reliable.

Lots of weird "can't have this" or "must have it this way" kind of things... far too many to list. But we just get used to it, I suppose.

Claw3 Sun 31-Jul-11 23:42:14

Ds hasnt eaten a 'meal' since he was weaned, he is now 7 years old. He has Cheerio's (no milk) for breakfast, half a chocolate spread sandwich (no butter), 6 grapes, salt and vinegar crisps for lunch, same for dinner, same for any snacks. Vanilla ice cream and apple too.

Same thing everyday for last 7 years.

He is severely anemic, something you might want to checked out, if poor diet continues.

drivemecrazy63 Mon 01-Aug-11 10:26:21

i think i will do yes thank you claw3 your name reminds me of my ds actually he like tickle time before bed sometimes and he loves the claw aka jim carrey or the voice of the LGM in toy story springs to mind grin

mumslife Mon 01-Aug-11 12:24:09

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

drivemecrazy63 Mon 01-Aug-11 13:34:30

its disheartening isnt it if youve tried for years all the different tactics of blending , hiding, adding flavours ,tasing games,bribery (money and toys) anything to get ds to try just one bite in the hope if he does he might actually like something it just never happens ive tried for years just to get ds to try jam surely he would like it he likes sweet things but as hes very verbal if i try anymore he has a meltdown it made mealtimes so painful and if its a painful experience that only goes to make mealtimes a battlefield for years ive put things in a bowl (as nothings allowed to touch) at one side but they just get ignored, my theory is we need to find a way to make DS want to change his habits in this area for one thing and secondly we need to find a way to make things more plaletable and find what textures exactly it is that he so venomously hates , its a shame there are no tests they can do to find this out.

SuburbanDream Mon 01-Aug-11 13:46:33

Can't really offer any useful advice except to keep trying now and then to offer new things (not too often or it gets traumatic for everyone!) . When we are having a bad day I always remember the bit in George and Sam (by charlotte moore) where she says that she planned for her children to eat perfectly nutritionally balanced meals, lovingly prepared etc and then in the end when George had six After Eights and some lemon barley water for breakfast she was actually pleased that he'd eaten anything at all smile. Oh and I do give DS those chewy vitamins which he loves so at least I know he's getting some goodness!

Mouth Mon 01-Aug-11 14:00:39

I don't know if my DS (3.8 mths) has Asperger's or not but it has been suggested by nursery staff and I've had my suspicions for a while. He is not so bad with variety but he is a VERY slow eater and much of the time he refuses to feed himself - maybe he will do the first few mouthfuls and then i end up spoonfeeding him the rest. He can do it but he won't. Sometimes he brushes things off his tongue, and he always has his hands in his mouth, has now started biting his nails and is even trying to bite his toenails! Am waiting to see how he copes with primary school before persuing a diagnosis, but he has quite a few signs of AS though probably quite borderline... Life around the dining table is hard.

ommmward Mon 01-Aug-11 15:24:43

We were severely limited at a similar age. Chocolate, icecream, and chips, pretty much.

I would suggest thinking of one thing you want to introduce into the diet. Just one, simple, easily prepared thing. Maybe apples or raw carrots or something. Find a time in the day when the child is well engaged in something else. Put a small piece of the desired food on a plate next to them. Retire to a safe distance. If they ignore it, fine. If they throw it on the floor, fine. If they throw it in the bin, fine. If they touch it, fine. If they lick it, fine. Don't comment, don't react, just remove the plate when the item has been finished with. Repeat every single day. Expect it to be six months before the food get eaten (it has never taken more than three months for us yet).

Using that technique, I got us to a stage where there are 4 or 5 different kinds of (plain) protein that will get eaten, and 5 different kinds of fruit of veg. Job done, frankly.

ommmward Mon 01-Aug-11 15:25:49

ps and we achieved that without distressing the child, btw.

buzzzybee Mon 01-Aug-11 15:29:33

wow thankyouu sooo much 4 all ur help !
It's nice to know i'm not alone and its given me hope to keep pushing smile
i'm sooo going to try the sneaky way ;D

buzzzybee xxx

ommmward Mon 01-Aug-11 15:34:20

Oh - we also backed RIGHT OFF the idea of a family meal time. If some members of a family feel more comfortable eating in private, or eating while distracted by something else (TV, computer, whatever), then having them feeling comfortable enough to eat is more important (for me) than pushing the agenda of the family meal.

And, again, with patience, the idea of all gathering around a table to eat together is gradually gathering pace as a kerrrrazy and fun thing to do on an occasional basis (shock grin).

drivemecrazy63 Mon 01-Aug-11 16:11:20

ds has been eating at his own table for many years now we sit at same time just were at the dinning table hes on a laptop table in front of the telly as he gets engrosed in a prog and eats a bit more that way , i thik its because foods just something you have to do to him not enjoyable at all just a chore really where as anyone can see by my waistline i love food wink... these tactics can work but what do you do when they have failed it took teacher 6/8 months to get him to nibble apple but he says oh thats just at school not for home, bit like he believes school is for schoolwork homes for fun not sums or spelling confused

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