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Very restricted diet - ASD(20 Posts)
I really need to do something about DS's diet. He eats only a handful of things - all the same texture (crispy /crunchy) and all carbohydrates. We recently found out that he has various vitamin deficiencies
Just today I tried the methods recommended in this thread:
It didn't go very well at all. He refused to eat even the two foods he normally does eat and he got more and more cross as I kept putting the food in front of him.
He did touch the food (to feed it to me ). But my target food was dry cornflakes - something he used to eat until about a year ago and is also the right texture, so wasn't a very challenging choice at all.
Has anyone else had success with this? I'm going to try again, but feeling disheartened that he wouldn't even eat the favoured foods.
Thank you for replying!
He saw a dietician some time ago and was prescribed a fortified milkshake drink, but he wouldn't take it. She wasn't too concerned at that point as he was in proportion despite being small. He is now at the very bottom end of the centiles, so perhaps more of a concern.
It's almost impossible to get vitamin drops into him as he likes dry food (like breadsticks, cheese twists, crisps etc) and only drinks plain tap water. He is highly suspicious of everything, I gave abidec drops highly diluted in plain water but he refused to drink it (not sure if it was the taste or slight colour that gave it away). We've tried so many different drops/sprays/gummies etc. but haven't found anything he will take.
We found out about his vitamin deficiencies when he had blood tests after being very unwell. They will give vitamin injections but obviously long term we need to sort out his diet. His paediatrician thinks he will become more adventurous about trying new food as he gets older, but at the minute he is dropping foods but not adding anything new.
My dad got fortified cereal bars and 'chocolate' bars on prescription when he couldn't eat properly. Would he eat those?
He doesn't eat either of those things at present, but definitely worth a try. I'll investigate - thank you.
He occasionally will eat fruit cake and eats croissants regularly (the outside bits anyway), but that's the only sweet stuff he has. No sweets, no ice cream or chocolates etc. He used to eat a lot more things but has gradually dropped things (often because we used them to disguise stuff).
He used to love crispy bacon and fish fingers but hasn't eaten them for about 2 years. If the food sensitivity plan from the other thread works then they are high on the list for new things to try.
I will try the idea about cheese straws just in case. He quite enjoys cooking with me but so far hasn't eaten any of the results.
They have occupational therapists on the NHS who plan a sensory diet specifically for your child - we were referred for one about six months ago and nothing, admittedly, but I am chasing because he has depleted iron reserves, and the only reason that's all they have flagged as an issue is I've had him on a multivit since he was one. They can support on introductions, allegedly. (I am cynical but would love to be proven wrong. As with so much to do with "expert" advice on DS.)
It wouldn't work with DS, either. If I alter a familiar food, he panics because I am messing with something he feels safe about. He eats more widely than your DS, but if he had a choice he'd live on white carbs and vanilla icecream. His tolerance for anything else reflects his anxiety levels more generally.
He likes Haribo so he will eat the Bassets kid's multivits.
I sometimes do the buffet approach to food - so lots of things in small bowls and help yourself. Occasionally, this works to get DS2 to try new things without any pressure.
Haven't looked at the other thread, sorry, but when DS2 was little, we were advised to try a very visual and staged introduction of new/old food. So, give him a very small portion of what he would eat - one mouthful of the new food - and a favourite to finish: all photographed beforehand and the photos put out in front of him and the food introduced one plate at a time. Rather ABA actually, looking back.
I didn't really follow it through as it caused too much anxiety and given DS2 was later diagnosed with avoidance disorder, I am quite glad I went with my instincts. TBH, it was one fight too far for me/us at that time.
DS2 does try new things in school and is very proud of this. However, he is at a special school and they are amazing about food issues.
We also used to use the Basset chewy multivitamins. Would a crunchy version help? I will also confess to throwing away loads of multivitamins that DS2 didn't like until we found one he did.
So are the crunchy vitamins like a chalky kind of texture? I don't think I've tried those ones, so I'll have a look when I'm next at Sainsburys.
The suggestion to take photos is something we could try too. I did try making little laminated squares with different foods but we didn't use them except to play with - he liked lining them up and telling me what they were for a while.
We used to do the buffet type thing, but on a good day he'd just ignore the new stuff and on a bad day he'd have a meltdown. I do still offer him little portions of the stuff we eat - but it's just ignored or sometimes fed to us (which is a step in the right direction as then he's touching it!).
I sound very negative, but thank you for all the tips and there are quite a few suggestions that I'm definitely going to try.
I bought a bag of the mini marmite rice cakes today so I'll see what he thinks of those
In our area they don't offer sensory OT on the NHS, but there is someone who does it privately and comes recommended by our paediatrician. I do think it is a combination of sensory issues and anxiety/fear of anything new/different.
We did a sort of version of that action plan with one of my children who had a very similar restricted diet, but all i did was
1) choose the food I wanted to introduce
2) put a small serving in front of the child every day, at a non-stressed time but not when their tummy was completely full.
3) make no comment, whatever the child did with it - feign complete indifference.
My good friend told me to expect it to take 6 months per food. It was wonderful advice, because it never took more than 2 or 3 months.
We did it with apple slices first, then raw carrot, then peas, and after that things got a lot easier and the range of foods expanded without that sort of therapy approach.
I wish someone had told me when this child was 4 that, by the time they were 12, they'd be tucking into a completely new food, all mixed up and multicoloured, at a stranger's house. Hold your nerve - it WILL pass!
We have experienced an improvement with age, too; not quite so good as ommmward's but definitely better. What about nuts? Pistachios and peanuts are both acceptable and have always been - more so than crisps.
Wow, ommmward, that sounds amazing and gives me huge hope.
Just take it one food at a time; don't for heaven's sake put more than one type of food on the plate at once (because that is evil and wrong); and relax, because you are in this for the long haul, and there's no point winning one battle if it means you lose the war.
(oh, and you can hide a lot of ground up vitamins, fish oil etc in home made chocolate cake. Just putting that out there).
Yes, definitely no mixing up food, that would not go down well.
Ommward, that gives me hope, too, and I'll try it.
(DS hates chocolate cake, though. Cake must be plain vanilla, or it is clearly sent to this earth to trick and ensnare small boys. It's depressing, as someone who bakes for a hobby.)
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