With school back in session, I need help with ideas for lunch.
Thanks for all your good ideas.
Will he take a multi-vitamin? My YDS is a picky eater and he likes the new fruit/veggies juices. That helps. If he will drink it, maybe pack it with the crackers and nutella.
I bought small tasting bowls from Crate and Barrel. Then I will put a few of something I want "everyone" to try as an appetizer for dinner. Every once in a while we get a home run and add another food to his list. Plus, in the spring we got him to eat a whole (small) lettuce leaf from the garden (after having one in the tasting bowl everyday for 6 weeks). So now he will eat a (very) small salad.
Does he like scrambled eggs? Eggs are a great protein.
Plus, I think you can mask almost any food in sugar or the spicy curry. (I am a want to be chef, so I would start experimenting :) ) My picky one likes things PLAIN. No sauce. Nothing. His pickiness stems more from texture than taste (although taste is a factor).
What does "NT" stand for?
I have two picky eaters, but Nathan, my "NT" child, is the one I worry about most. The foods he'll eat probably could be counted on one hand, and there's not much protein in any of it.
Last year, for every single day, I packed him a vanilla Yoplait yogurt and a little bag of sandwiches made from whole wheat Ritz (not much whole wheat there) and Nutella. Most days he didn't touch the yogurt, but he always ate the Ritz with Nutella. Then he'd have Ritz with Nutella and a milk for dinner almost every night, until I had something like French bread or plain pasta. It's no wonder the kid is always tired and has dark circles under his eyes, and chronic headaches. But he simply will not eat other foods.
This year, he's gotten tired of Ritz with Nutella. At home he will eat oatmeal now. Proper oatmeal, not the icky instant stuff, so that's good. But you can't pack that. This morning, packing his lunch for the first day of school was hard. We've got a kitchen full of all kinds of stuff, but nothing he'll eat. I reluctantly sent him to school with a Yoplait and some kind of nut bar. I don't remember which brand; it's one of those things that tries to pass itself off as "healthy", but it's just a glorified candy bar, really. He won't eat cheese, meat, fruit, veggies, or much of anything. Once in a while he'll have a PB & J (natural PB, white bread), but not if its been sitting in a lunch bag for a few hours, because then the PB and jelly soak into the bread and it gets kind of yucky. And he only will eat that with ovaltine, which doesn't pack well.
At least he seems to care about nutrition, and will choose healthy food when there is something available that doesn't gross him out. That's rare, though, because most food smells and textures are a problem for him.
My AS son has less sensory issues. Or at least more tolerance for a wide variety of food, because he craves lots of flavor. His problem is that he won't eat anything bitter or rough textured, and he tastes bitterness in pretty much all whole foods. He'll only eat oatmeal if he can drown it in golden syrup (which costs a fortune, being imported). Heaven forbid if he gets a mouthful of oatmeal that is only sweetened by a bunch of raisins! You'd think I had tried to get him to eat a bar of soap! Everything either has to have huge quantities of sugar on it, or be cooked in some kind of buttery, super-spicy curry sauce with chutney. Luckily I'm homeschooling him, so packing a lunch isn't a problem.
Whewww! This got way too long! Sorry to ramble. I need to get to bed now! Just want you to know you aren't allow with the picky eater situation. It's the bane of my existence.
Well, what will he eat consistently and how much work are you willing to put into it?
One thing that helps kids at school is protien. Mix a protien with a complex carb and that will help them function well. My oldest (16) is also VERY picky which is compounded with her being in high school and refusing to pack a lunch box (uncool)but won't eat most school lunches. And won't eat many things I would normally pack for lunch.
We also went through similar things with ASD son when he was younger, particularly when he was on meds that affected appetite.
"snacks" have worked well. 1) "homemade trailmix" - mix cereal, favorite nuts, raisins or cranberries and a couple pieces of chocolate to make it a treat.
2) Home made baked goods that are stuffed with good stuff.
Add protien powder, flax seed, or wheat germ to your favorite muffin, cookie or even pancake recipe and let him eat those. He won't even know he is eating healthy. Make the changes slowly so he doesn't notice.
You can also slowly switch sugar to honey or other natural sweeteners and all-purpose flour to whole grain flour.
Personally I like to "spice up" pumpkin muffins with healthy stuff. Pumpkin itself is a superfood (or blueberry muffins. Depends on season). Add extra protien, healthy oils, and complex carbs to a superfood and what more do they need. And they think they are getting a treat! Love it!
I have a killer recipe for Oatmeal Cookies that I add goodies too. It is sweetened with honey and molasses. No sugar at all.
3) bags of nuts
4) store bought protein bars (but be careful, some are not much better than candy bars)
5) freeze yogurt tubes
6) "home-made lunchables" - aka crackers, cheese and other similar faves.
7) dried fruits or fruit juice - not as good as regular fruit but dd will not eat regular fruit in a lunch because they get banged up and bruised.
8) fruit leathers.
hope some of those ideas help. Good luck!
We've also done the cereal at school. I'd send milk with ds in an empty water bottle (he didn't like to buy milk at school). I'd fill it halfway, then freeze it overnight. In the morning I'd fill it the rest of the way with milk, and it stayed cold 'til lunch.
Will your ds only eat waffles, pancakes and pizza if they're warm? My ds will sometimes pack cold, leftover pizza, and by the time he gets to lunch, it's room temperature which is a temp he'll tolerate for eating.
How about something like fruit, milk, and a Fiber Plus bar, which has more protein, more fiber, and less sugar than a regular granola bar? Even just a small pick-me-up like that can make a difference until he gets home.
Can your ds offer any ideas?
My son eats almost the same lunch every single day of school (except for chicken nugget day and then he will buy a school lunch).