Good morning! I hope all of you are having a great week.
Chloe was not always a lover of food. In fact we couldn’t get her to drink her formula, without losing it, forever it seemed. Once we found the right formula she ate a pretty normal amount. This was before the Autism diagnosis. Moving forward to baby food she was quite picky. I started with vegetables, like they recommend, but it took her awhile to try them. She loved oatmeal baby cereal and would eat that all day long. Fruit wasn’t to hard to get in her. It was sweet and she loved it in her cereal.
Once Chloe turned one we were excited to get her on table food and milk. She wouldn’t and couldn’t drink milk. We found out later she was allergic to milk. She would drink water and of course juice. At first she loved green beans, peas, carrots and corn. She would eat any bread you gave her, but would not eat meat. People joked we had a vegetarian on our hands. She never wanted eggs, which is good because we found out she was allergic to them too.
Chloe stared having symptoms of Autism by 1 1/2 yrs of age. She had been very ill right before her 1st birthday and once better got her vaccinations. Whether it was the illness or the vaccinations she was different after that. She lost every babble, every bit of crawling and stopped pulling up. She had days of being totally silent. She also stopped napping and having trouble going to sleep at night. Her food aversions started at this time too. She pushed food away she once ate, except the baby cereal. She actually ate this until age 3. She became a carb junkie, especially noodles. I continued to put veggies and meat on her plate, but she threw them on the floor and screamed as loud as she could.
This went on for years and now at almost age 9 she has added back peas and carrots. She will eat beef and turkey patties. I can also get her to eat deli meat ham and turkey. Noodles and pizza are her favorites. I still give her some dairy products, but am wondering if I take dairy away if it will improve her autism symptoms. So now that the food history lesson is over, lets move to my little eating machine.
Chloe wakes up wanting food out and ready. I don’t bow down to that, but I do ask her what she wants and fix it before doing anything else. 1 1/2 hours later she wants lunch. I tell her its not time and she begins to scream. She gets sent to her room if she doesn’t stop. I make her wait at least 2 hours and then give her a light snack. She yells for more and the fit begins again. Lunchtime has arrived and I fix her food, which lately include peas and carrots. She eats and then 30 minutes she asks for more. Ugh she cant be hungry already!!! I would say 90% of her fits are about not getting the food she wants. This continues to go on every hour to hour and a half until bedtime. I have bananas and apples anytime she wants them, but she always wants carbs. I quit buying several snack items because she would eat them until they were gone. Sometimes without my knowledge.
I have read a lot about children with Autism craving carbs or dairy. Chloe’s weight has went up a lot in the past year and even though she moves constantly she is filling out quite a bit. So I keep deleting items from the grocery list so she will mostly have healthy options to eat. Hopefully this will get her to eat the apples and a banana instead of Cheez its. She drinks water all day, so I know she is hydrated. I keep praying she will grow out of the pickiness and try new foods. We will just have to wait and see. The good thing we have control of what food comes in the house and she eventually stops screaming. (Tantrums are so fun, aren’t they??) I make the joke that she eats like a teenage boy. I think she eats out of sensory needs and boredom. So I try to keep her busy and give her a snack at appropriate times.
Do any of you have a child that has trouble eating to much? Tell me about what you do to solve the situation.
Have a wonderful and blessed day.