food questions

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-31-2004
food questions
9
Sun, 09-26-2010 - 9:23pm

Our 8 yo son was recently diagnosed with Asperger's. Due to his sensory issues he eats very few foods and is heavy in the carbs and sugars. I have been reading about the Asperger's diet and was wondering 1) if anyone had success if changing diet and 2) what tips people had for getting our son to try/eat different foods. If he doesn't like what is being served, he often will not eat.

thank you in advance,
Kim

iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2005
In reply to: novakomaha
Tue, 09-28-2010 - 12:49pm

I was never able to switch my kids to a gf/cf diet to see whether that helped them because there were so few foods they'd eat I figured it was better that they not starve than that we try a new diet.

We did go dairy-free for a couple of months with dd when she was about 12yo. I'm not sure if we were completely casein free (I tried to be vigilant, but I know I forgot sometimes). We did not see a difference in her behavior (or her bowel habits, which is the real reason we went dairy-free).

One thing we did with moderate success was to build on the foods my kids already liked. So, if they liked pancakes, we tried french toast, then eggs with syrup, then eggs with no syrup. It was a long, slow process, but it built on foods & flavors they were familiar with.

When dd was about 3yo, she'd ONLY eat plain pasta. For her, variety meant different shaped noodles. Even though it was all pasta, it got dd in the habit of being introduced to new and unfamiliar food shapes rather than locking on to one type of pasta/food.

My kids also liked less common foods such as mandarin oranges and mangos, rather than bananas and apples. The texture was more tolerable. My kids also liked fruit smoothies over whole fruit.

One thing that worked for a short while with ds when he was 8yo was his cub scout requirement to plan and eat healthy foods based on the food pyramid. For several weeks he paid more attention to eating a better variety of foods. Gradually he went back to his old ways.

A few years ago ds was eating a better variety of foods. He gradually regressed to eating just a few things again. I think with him it's very much stress related. When he's in school and in other stressful environments, he retreats to his favorite foods. At this point I'm just accommodating him. I still make him taste new foods semi-regularly (taking a "no thank you bite" of dinner, for instance), but I otherwise allow him to eat foods he's comfortable with.

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-12-2008
In reply to: novakomaha
Tue, 09-28-2010 - 8:29am

Hello and welcome to the board. Sorry you had to join us...but glad you are here :) I have a severe picky eater, compounded by a fear of eating. He started this over the summer and it got so bad that we now have to tube feed him.

Paula's blog information is great. We use the smell, touch, taste approach with Gabe. Gabe also is having a lot of sensory issues with texture. We are literally starting over with baby food, which is still leading to gagging. But we just keep offering and we practice eating. He will now eat baby food bananas, applesauce, and toufuti dairy free ice cream...on occasion.

We are doing a gluten free and casein free diet with Gabe. So far the one thing I have noticed is he isn't as anxious about every little thing. His anxiety was through the roof! And I noticed his speech has improved. Gabe is not a big talker and has a lot of speech and language issues....so it's great to hear him communicate more!

I know the gf/cf diet is very hard to do at least in the beginning. Right now it is very easy for us because Gabe doesn't eat. Once we get him back on regular foods we are going to stay gf/cf and the whole family is going to do it because it makes it easier. Plus he won't feel left out.

Keep up the good work...and again welcome.





Jessie mommy to Gabe(5 years ASD/CAS/SID)and baby Zane (1 year old)





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iVillage Member
Registered: 01-07-2008
In reply to: novakomaha
Tue, 09-28-2010 - 7:28am

Agree that Paula's blog is a good place to start, and the 'smell, touch, taste' approach has worked very well for both ASD and NT picky eaters here. What also worked well for us was working through, with an ASD-trained therapist, exactly what Euan's particular issues with certain textures and tastes were (anxiety about choking). We now have gotten to the stage where certain textures are still off limits, and he still eats very very slowly, but he will try anything, eats a fairly wide range of foods, and can deal with problems (eg too much chewy meat on his plate) without having a meltdown (either places the meat on a cracker, or just leaves it). This means he can now eat in public, and we are fairly safe serving him most foods - but it did take us a few years to get here, and he still needs an early lunch pass because eating is still fairly stressful for him.



What has worked well for both ASD and NT picky eaters is involving them in chosing, and making their own food. It doesn't always work (I once spent about two hours with the three of them, making pizza bases from scratch and letting them chose their toppings, baking them, etc, only to have all of them turn their noses up at the finished product and refuse to eat more than a bite of it *sigh*) but it does usually, particularly with baking. NT son will eat an omelette he has prepared even though eggs are, apparently, 'disgusting'.



Bribery also works, but the reward has to be something they really want.



Kirsty, mum to Euan (11, Aspergers Syndrome) Rohan (7, NT) and Maeve (4, NT)

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iVillage Member
Registered: 09-03-2010
In reply to: novakomaha
Tue, 09-28-2010 - 4:34am

Sounds like my Dawson.

iVillage Member
Registered: 10-31-2004
In reply to: novakomaha
Mon, 09-27-2010 - 11:16pm
Our son used to eat more things too. Now he only eats a handful of things. He isn't with pasta unless it is spaghetti noodles. Thank you for the welcome and the input.
iVillage Member
Registered: 03-27-2003
In reply to: novakomaha
Mon, 09-27-2010 - 7:28pm

I've got an 8yo really picky eater too.

                                

iVillage Member
Registered: 02-28-2008
In reply to: novakomaha
Mon, 09-27-2010 - 2:59pm

Welcome to the board.

I'm not familiar with an 'Asperger's diet', but a number of people have tried gluten/casein free diets with their kids. It seems to help some kids, but we didn't have any luck with it and it was a major effort, so we didn't keep it up. I think the general opinion is that for some kids, it helps alot, but for others it doesn't help.

Paula's blog post is the best stuff I've seen on picky eaters. It's a very common problem with ASD kids. I've got issues with picky eaters here but haven't put alot of effort into breaking them of the habit yet.

Good luck with whatever you try.

Andrea, mom to

Graham
Miles
Anson

Andrea, mom to

Graham
Miles
Anson
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-25-2003
In reply to: novakomaha
Mon, 09-27-2010 - 12:39am

Hello and welcome.

This is geared towards younger kids, but still a lot of stuff in there.
http://onesickmother.typepad.com/my_weblog/tips-for-picky-eaters.html

-Paula

visit my blog at www.onesickmother.com

-Paula

visit my blog at www.onesickmother.com
iVillage Member
Registered: 04-26-2010
In reply to: novakomaha
Sun, 09-26-2010 - 10:54pm

My 15 year old daughter is the same way. She too will not eat if she doesnt like what I make. I have few suggestions and a lot of sympathy. What helps a bit with her is to remember her food sensitivities. She wont eat cereal with milk so I serve it dry with milk in a glass. She wont eat pasta with sauce so she gets hers before I put sauce on it. She likes to cook and often will try foods she makes before she tries something new I make. So I try to get her to help cook as often as possible. Even though yours in only 8 theres still a lot he can do in the kitchen to help out.

Laurie

Hope these few suggestions help out.