How Can I Help as a Mom of a Picky Eater?

Page 1 of 2 [ 16 posts ]  Go to page 1, 2  Next

SamsMama
Emu Egg
Emu Egg

User avatar

Joined: 25 Mar 2010
Gender: Female
Posts: 1

26 Mar 2010, 9:20 am

My son is seven years old, high functioning PDD/NOS with LOTS of sensory issues. He is skinny, skinny, skinny... worries his parents.
He is very verbal, but I just don't think he knows how to explain how he really feels.
I try serving foods he typically likes, but after a while, he will stop liking that food and rather not eat at all then to even have to smell the food he usually likes.
He likes only a handful of things and when he stops eating those, I worry alot.
Eventually he'll start eating them again, but how can I help him?
Any tips from a picky eater would be helpful.

Thanks



Botti
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 18 Sep 2008
Age: 63
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,684
Location: I'm actually HFA

26 Mar 2010, 9:31 am

Just give him what he will eat, within reason.

It is something that doesn't really change with age , in my experience.

I am still extremely limited in what I will eat, and I haven't starve to death yet.


_________________
Autistic (high functioning) girly glyph fanatic!


Vince
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 31 Dec 2007
Age: 33
Gender: Male
Posts: 688
Location: Sweden

26 Mar 2010, 9:33 am

This is hopefully not the best reply you'll get.
I was a picky eater. Very picky. Now I'm almost 23 years old. Nothing has changed. Still as picky as I ever was. Still skinny. Still reluctant to try new foods. Still gag when attempting to eat vegetables. I wish I wasn't so picky, but I don't know of any way to get over the horrible sensory experience of eating most foods. It kind of sucks.
I hope someone else will give you a more positive answer.


_________________
I'm Vince. I make the music. And puppet.
http://www.swenglish.nu


MommyJones
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 3 Dec 2008
Age: 54
Gender: Female
Posts: 684
Location: United States

26 Mar 2010, 9:49 am

My son is the exact same way. I have managed to keep weight on him, the doctor says he's perfect weight wise, but he has not one ounce of fat on him. I also have his iron checked every year, and it's been fine so far. I feed him what he will eat, and I try not to worry about it. I can't force him, I can't hide things, I've tried all of the tricks. He eats no vegetables, no meat except hot dogs and the only way I get him to eat one fruit a day so he can go potty is to tell him that if he doesn't eat his fruit he can't play his Wii. He eats hot dogs for a while, and then he wants pizza, and then he eats pizza and no hot dogs. Same with McDonalds Chicken Nuggets. He's off of that now, but we'll start back up in about 6 months. Every day I pack his lunch for school, it's never enough food for me but I only have 3 choices of things he can take so that's what I send. He also won't take vitamins so I go to the pharmacy and purchase childrens liquid vitamins that I give him in his chocolate milk in the morning, but they don't have minerals. I had to go to a few pharmacies for that, but if you want an NDC number, PM me and I'll give it to you so they can find it. (if you're in the U.S., I don't remember where you are) I have been through several protein drinks and I have learned that he likes chocolate milkshake Ensure. I have to make sure I don't get the "loaded" one because the label is different and he won't drink it. :wall: I give him that to get minerals in him and he likes that. Don't buy too much at a time until you learn that your child loves the stuff. I had mine drinking carnation instant breakfast for a while, and as soon as I bought the monster can he decided he didn't like that anymore. I can't stand the stuff so I threw it away. :x

He is now 8, and has not really added anything to his pallette, but he is starting to try stuff, and is starting to be able to tell me his preferences, but you do what you can and hope for the best. He says he doesn't like sweet (i.e. fruit), and he doesn't like how food feels in his mouth. I recently asked everyone on here "why" they are picky and got some really interesting answers. Search my name and you'll find it. It's well worth reading.

He also goes through spirts like your son. He is in a non eating mode right now and eats next to nothing. A couple of months from now he'll eat a lot more. I quit worrying, it's not worth it.

On a funny note, one morning I was packing his lunch and he came to me and told me he was tired of hot dogs, pizza, fruit, and Chicken Nuggets. I told him I would be more than happy to give him anything he wants, he just has to tell me what it is. He thought for a second, and said give me a hot dog. It was really cute. :) Fortunately he's in a school where they will heat it up for him.

Good Luck! This is a tough one!



Francis
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 6 Jul 2009
Age: 51
Gender: Male
Posts: 522

26 Mar 2010, 9:38 pm

My son is really picky and really thin. I just let him eat those few items he actually likes, which all are sugar-based. I supplement it with soy milk for protein and gummy vitamins to keep him healthy . As long as he is getting his proper nutrients, I am happy. There are bigger battles in life to fight.



pensieve
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 18 Nov 2008
Age: 34
Gender: Female
Posts: 8,204
Location: Sydney, Australia

26 Mar 2010, 9:58 pm

I was a picky eater but have gotten over it. With me it was something I did to become more healthier and fitter. I was about 21 or 22. Before that I did eat a variety of foods, mainly because I was forced to.
If you give your son something to eat and he doesn't want it what does he do?
I'm kind of a eat-3-meals-a day routine person, who eats not as much for taste but for fuel. So it's hard for me to understand why people overeat or under eat. I guess it's an AS thing with me.
What if you taught him the importance of eating food? For nutrition, for energy, for brain power. But of course in a way a 7 year old can understand.


_________________
My band photography blog - http://lostthroughthelens.wordpress.com/
My personal blog - http://helptheywantmetosocialise.wordpress.com/


Ebonwinter
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Apr 2009
Age: 30
Gender: Male
Posts: 2,355
Location: Lexington, KY

26 Mar 2010, 10:01 pm

Have you've tried mixing in new food with his/her usual if possible.



Nan
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 1 Mar 2006
Age: 64
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,795

26 Mar 2010, 10:10 pm

Invest in Vitamins. No, really.

My daughter had a texture thing about food, and also the temperature. Too hot, too cold = no eat. Funky texture = no eat. I remember that one week she ate nothing but cheese and broccoli at meals, and would chase it with a slice of bread dipped in table salt. After she was tired of that (there is comfort in familiarity in foods) she moved on to other things. (We also later found out she had problems metabolizing salt and that her blood pressure tends to be low, and salt in the diet - as well as a cup of coffee a day - increases it to functional levels.)

It was fortunate that she usually went through wanting only one or two foods for a short period of time and then moved on to others. So, in a week's time I was able to get basically a balanced diet into her when one considered the entire week's intake, rather than per meal or day. She liked apple sauce at all times. And whipped cream. Wouldn't touch mashed potatoes until, actually, she was in her 20s. Now she likes them, if the texture and temp are correct.

Had to have the food on the right places on the plate. Could not be touching. No gravy or sauce.

As long as the child is eating, just try to make sure what goes in has good nutrition. You can get a lot of mileage out of Cheerios, really.... Good luck!



happymusic
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 10 Feb 2010
Age: 45
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,165
Location: still in ninja land

27 Mar 2010, 9:00 am

Maybe he could be involved with making the grocery list and picking things out at the store, if you don't do this already. Maybe a kids cookbook would peak his interest. I'm thinking heart shaped sandwiches and stuff like that. i have found that the habit of eating like your son has stuck with me. I eat things until I can't even smell them anymore. Like someone said above, vitamins are a good idea.



SuperTrouper
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 1 Jun 2009
Gender: Female
Posts: 1,117

27 Mar 2010, 8:08 pm

Try feeding therapy. I'm doing it through a local pediatric OT/ST clinic. After 4 sessions, I've added maybe 5 new foods to my diet.



millie
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 25 Oct 2008
Age: 57
Gender: Female
Posts: 3,154

27 Mar 2010, 10:47 pm

puree and disguise??
good luck.



Brittany2907
The ultimate storm is eternally on it's
The ultimate storm is eternally on it's

User avatar

Joined: 9 Jun 2007
Age: 28
Gender: Female
Posts: 4,718
Location: New Zealand

28 Mar 2010, 1:52 am

Whatever you do, do not force him to eat foods that he doesn't want to eat or you will just make it worse. My mum used to force feed me (literally) by holding me down on the ground and spooning food into my mouth forcefully if it was something that I didn't want to eat. Then when I vomitted because of my texture issues I would be even more reluctant to eat something 'foreign'. I was very, very skinny also but when I got to the age of about 9-10, my mum decided to stop force feeding me and I slowly started eating more and more until the age of 11 when I was eating what most kids would. In my experience, parents making a big deal out of it makes it worse. It's ok for you to be worried about your sons nutrition but if you stress at meal times, so will he.

I think that you should let him eat what he's comfortable with and in the mean time, take him to his GP to see if there's anything that can be done to help him nutritionally (apart from force feeding him which trust me, with not leave positive memories).


_________________
I = Vegan!
Animals = Friends.


catlady2323
Blue Jay
Blue Jay

User avatar

Joined: 15 Mar 2010
Gender: Female
Posts: 98
Location: USA

28 Mar 2010, 5:12 am

Having a picky eater is very frustrating !

I was very picky as a child.

I am still very picky. Both texture of food and the temperature of it matter to me. If both aren't just right, I can't eat it. Texture seems to matter alot to some aspie's, have you determined what textures your child does and doesn't like ? For instance I like slightly crunchy foods, and will not eat anything that is slimy (like mayonnaise).

Also I go through phases, where I will eat the same thing everyday for awhile (like a week) and then won't touch that because I have switched to something "new" for the next week. So this week I may eat chicken breasts the entire week for dinner with broccoli, then won't touch that again for a long while but will switch to cod filets with corn everyday. Everything has to be cooked exactly to the right level of doneness and temperature.

My gag reflex is very strong, and I just can't make myself eat something to be polite. I will throw it up.

Another odd thing, is there are very few leftovers that I am able to make myself eat. Once again, it is the texture thing. When food is first cooked it has a certain texture, but once it sets in the frig overnight, the fat inside the food congeals and changes the texture ever so slightly. Not enough for anyone else to notice (apparently), but enough that I do notice and won't touch it. Reheating the food doesn't change it back to the same texture when it was "fresh" from the oven.

I know this makes it hard for a busy mom to try an accommodate this level of fussiness, but your child really can't help it. I studied health and nutrition as an adult extensively (of course). I read a study that may help you relax a bit. When children were given food choices of real food (no junk, no sugar), and left to pick randomly what they wanted to eat, they would not eat a balanced diet on any given day. But when the totals were calculated for the week, lo and behold those kids did have a balanced diet. So even if all they would eat on Monday was apples, and all the would eat on Tuesday was salt (yes they had mounds of salt on the table), by the time Saturday rolled around, they managed to balance and eat exactly what their bodies needed.

Hope this helps,

Sharon


_________________
"Dogs have owners, Cats have staff"

Aspie Score: 137 out of 200
Neurotypical Score: 67 out of 200
Diagnosed "genuis, borderline autism" at the age of 24 months
Level 1 Autism DSM-V


Callista
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 3 Feb 2006
Age: 37
Gender: Female
Posts: 10,775
Location: Ohio, USA

28 Mar 2010, 4:12 pm

If you have to just get him used to the look and smell of things first, try that. Don't force anything; go as slow as he needs to. If you can only get him to put it in his mouth and then spit it out, that's a victory. Don't become his enemy--he isn't being contrary; it's just that he physically can't tolerate the foods.

Vitamins are a good idea. Will he drink Ensure or some other nutritional supplement type drink?


_________________
Reports from a Resident Alien:
http://chaoticidealism.livejournal.com

Autism Memorial:
http://autism-memorial.livejournal.com


Wedge
Veteran
Veteran

User avatar

Joined: 15 Oct 2008
Age: 37
Gender: Male
Posts: 984
Location: Rendezvous Point

28 Mar 2010, 4:53 pm

Be patient when introducing new foods. Add small amounts and don’t force him to eat the whole portion. Some children may take some time until he accepts a new flavor or texture. Introduce new foods and textures one at a time. Serve different foods but don´t force him to eat it, eventually he may eat it. The odds that he will eat something new are greater if he is familiar with it. The more the kid sees new food on the table, and sees the rest of the family eating and enjoying them the more he is apt to eventually try them. Allow him to spit the food out if she finds it too repulsive. Set a good example by eating a variety of foods, a positive role model is important. Children are also more likely to eat something that they have helped make, so you could get your children involved in preparing meals, or in buying the food.