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Restricted eating- 3yo

5 replies

JograffersGild · 15/11/2020 20:04

Looking for thoughts please on restricted eating.

DD is 3 and waiting for assessment for ASC. Her older brother is 6 and dx with ASC.

We have spent 18 months trying all the usual strategies to get DD to try new foods, including help from OT.

I've begun to feel really angry and fed up around it. The few non-beige foods which she used to accept are now refused. She will not eat any nursery food and eats only a v restricted packed lunch.

She has awful hunger-related meltdowns so we always give in and give her beige foods.

Does it matter if DD only eats cold food and no hot food (other than dough balls)?

Main protein source is peanut butter. No cheese or meat or fish. Is this ok?

She wants endless brioche, banana and milk. Do we just give it to her?

Thanks for reading.

OP posts:
openupmyeagereyes · 15/11/2020 20:11

I don’t have any words of hope I’m afraid, my ds is nearly 7 and has been the same since he turned 2. He eats a lot of peanut butter on toast!

Personally I would feed her the foods she eats but try to always have other foods on offer at mealtimes. What does the OT say? Have you seen a dietitian?

Nothing has helped us yet, he refuses to try anything new. I’m hoping that will change in time. I used to worry so much about it, I still do of course but I try not to think about it as it’s out of my control.

JograffersGild · 16/11/2020 10:40

Hi open thanks for replying. I chatted to you a bit on the auties thread last year but didn't go the distance with that thread and have NC since.

Has your DS seen a dietician? What can they advise on?

OT has done a great game for trying new foods. She gets DD to lick and try new foods v successfully when we're at OT sessions, but then DD utterly refuses at home. So I don't think it's a sensory issue, as she doesn't shudder or gag with OT. I think it's maybe control or anxiety?

OP posts:
Beamur · 16/11/2020 10:53

I've no experience with restricted eating with ASC but both my DD and my DSD are limited in their range of food.
It's very hard to reason with a 3 year old as to why they should eat more things.
It sounds like you are working on exposure to new foods in a gentle and controlled way.
Personally, my approach is to mostly feed the girls what they want (DSD would have lived on beige food and baby food given the choice) and to offer similar foods to the liked ones first as these were less challenging.
My DD ate peanut butter as her first choice of lunch most days for 8 years (she actually can't bring herself to eat it now but still likes peanut butter flavoured things)
My friends son was both premature and later diagnosed as ASC and she struggled to feed him. This was a while ago - the advice then was any calories were good! He's an adult now and still more restricted in diet than most people, but eats a reasonable range of food.

openupmyeagereyes · 16/11/2020 14:48

I don’t think our issue is sensory either, it’s definitely control and borne out of anxiety and likely associations with illness (tonsillitis and sickness bug).

The dietitian was useful in that she did an analysis of his diet which showed he wasn’t missing anything significant. He is/was 50th centile for height and weight. He does take vitamin supplements but his diet is very restricted and he eats the same foods every day. Otherwise there was nothing I couldn’t have got from a book or online but I presume they help some people.

Beamur · 16/11/2020 14:54

My DD is anxious, she has a form of OCD and is highly germ aware.
If she's healthy and a reasonable weight I am used to her diet being repetitive.
I think if you can get some reassurance that your child is healthy, despite the restricted diet that would probably make it easier for you all.
My DSD and my friends child have altered their own diet as they have got older. They still are quite narrow in their choices but are able to eat out in certain restaurants for example, which was much harder when DSD was young. DD is still a bit of a challenge if there's no pasta...

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