[Just a quick note to let you all know – T’s MRI results came in and there were NO intracranial masses!! Yay! No tumors! I got my Christmas present early! … Now in choosing an old post for this weekend – I’ve been forced to confront the eating issues again- still, whatever you want to call it… So, I pulled up this old post because, basically? Nothing’s changed. Happy Weekend to you all! This post is from May 2, 2011. ]
Does a lot of food get consumed in the back seat of your car? With the amount of distance I cover just going to work and school each day, I spend an inordinate amount of time in the car with my son. With that kind of time in the car, I cannot tell a lie. Food ends up getting eaten there. My car, sad to say, is kind of gross. Take a closer look at that seat belt. It’s got the DNA of an Oreo McFlurry on it in this picture. This is because, yes, I admit it, I do not have a lot of time to keep the car immaculate. And food gets dropped and drinks get spilled. As soon as I clean it, the next spill occurs. So, I‘m just not concerned with it anymore.
My son does not consume many different foods. He is a very picky, junk food eater. I know children on the spectrum have gastrointestinal and allergy issues and must have very specialized diets. My son has no gastrointestinal issues. He will, though, eat GFCF (gluten free/casein free) anything if it falls within his weird sense of foods that are okay to eat. It’s just that his list of foods is limited, to say the least.
One of the many strange rituals surrounding food for my son is that the bites must be sized just right. He will not take a bite off of a larger whole and eat it. I don’t know what his thing is about it. The only things he will take bites of himself are tacos and ice cream. Hand him a burger – no, he will not take a bite. He will ask you to tear off a piece and give it to him but if it is not the right size or evenly distributed between bun and burger, he will refuse it.
He will not bite cookies, candy, donuts, muffins, bagels, pizza, bananas, strawberries, or a sandwich. He will eat all these foods if they are cut into the right size and shape bites. An oddity is chips. He will eat chips on his own but it’s like a chips war zone when he is finished. He breaks off his own bite size pieces of Doritos. If he does not like the size or shape of the break – he will discard it – on a plate or on the floor, either way suits him, and move on to the next one. Unless the bite size is right, the Dorito becomes an orphan.
He is currently in a new foods program with his therapists. It is going very slowly. It’s almost laughable. So far, he’s working on eating a Cheez-It. A Cheez-It people!! Before ABA, he would beg me to buy the Cheez-Its for the box. (He liked the giant wheel of cheese on the back). He would refuse to eat any of them once the box was opened. He will not eat any kind of cracker at all. ABA introduced the Cheez-Its and he gagged. He did it on purpose so he wouldn’t have to eat them. He’s worked up to eating one. While grimacing but no more gagging. The new goal? Four Cheez-Its.
At this rate, I have no idea how long this program will take. They are still working on finger foods that he refuses to eat before moving into foods that require a utensil. This is not easy going. Here’s a small list of what he will NOT eat:
Cereal – any kind. Not a single type of the hundreds of cereal can be consumed. He likes to buy cereal. For the toy.
Chicken – No matter what form it takes, including chicken nuggets, he will not eat it.
All other vegetables
Macaroni & Cheese – Yes, it’s true.
Any other kind of pasta.
If he spills anything on himself in the car, whether it is an entire milkshake or a tiny drop of water, he will immediately yell “CLEAN!! CLEAN!! VAC- UUM!” repeatedly until someone (me)hands him a napkin to clean the mess. After using the napkin, he either tosses it on the floor or yells, “MOM!” and tries to hand the soaked, stained remnant back to me.
Yes, the clean versus dirty irony abounds in my child, in my car. Someday, when he’s old enough to eat without spilling everything, I may look back and laugh at the specific eating rituals that are part of our lives. Someday.