Autism often goes hand in hand with food aversions. I wish I had some solid advice to offer on how to get your child to eat, unfortunately, I don’t. I’m facing the exact same challenges and struggles as most parents do when it comes to feeding my child.
My son is primarily on a ‘white diet’ – not sure if you’re familiar with this term. Bread and bagels, pasta, chicken nuggets, pizza, french fries, white rice…hmm, I know I’m missing a few items, but you get the idea. There are days I manage to sneak in a piece of broccoli and some carrots, but he’ll pick and choose when and if he decides to eat his veggies.
His limited palate frustrates me to no end. Hell, he won’t even eat everyone’s favourite – hot dogs! I’m always concerned he isn’t getting the vitamins and nutrients he needs for a growing boy.
Out of desperation, I’ve purchased cookbooks geared to parents that suggest ‘hiding’ veggies or those that offer fun food ideas like food-on-a-stick (not so fun for my son). Most of the recipes have been hit or miss…mostly miss.
These cookbooks are collecting dust in my kitchen cupboard…
I’ve recently discovered that Max really enjoys helping me out in the kitchen, so I thought I would have him help me prepare his dinner. Tonight is pizza night! (cheese only, he picks off the veggies) I know for certain he’ll eat pizza – not my number one choice but the kids gotta eat.
Off to the grocery store we go!
Picking up some ready-made pizza dough. Super convenient.
We need pizza sauce too.
Love the pre-shredded cheeses, saves so much time!
We have everything we need, off we go.
Now we’re home and ready to make pizza! I usually start off by showing Max what to do and then let him have a go at it. He enjoyed rolling the pizza down and he followed my instructions very nicely.
Spreading the sauce.
Lastly, sprinkling the cheese!
Ready for the oven!
Max wanted to eat the pizza right away. Keeping him busy while we waiting for the pizza to bake was the longest 20 minutes of my life! — just kidding.
Pizza’s ready! That’s a nice looking pizza pie.
Someone is enjoying his pizza! I put a few veggies on his plate and he did eat a couple of cucumber slices. Like I said, I will always try!
Lots of leftovers! I don’t know if we’ll get through all of it, but hey, it’s great to have on standby for a few days.
Max definitely felt a sense of accomplishment and excitement after making his pizza. He was anxious and eager to eat it. I’m not saying this is the answer to all of my dinner (and breakfast and lunch) woes, but perhaps involving our children in the preparation of their meals is a step in the right direction?
So next time you’re making pancakes, baking cookies or cracking some eggs, maybe try to involve your child by having him or her do a small task like mixing or stirring. This could be a great way to spark communication and learning. And who knows, your kid could become the next prodigy in the kitchen.