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Food Phobia

(18 Posts)
hildajenniJ Mon 30-Mar-15 16:24:43

I have a four year old grandson who is on the Autistic Spectrum. My daughter is very worried about his diet, he does not like his food to be mixed up, he likes to be able to see all the ingredients of his meal on his plate eg. mashed potatoes, carrots, beef burger. The burger mustn't be in a bun either. He will eat pizza as he can deconstruct it. Curry, stew, casseroles etc are out because he can't see everything they are made from. He will sometimes eat lentil soup as long as it is well blended and looks all yellow. Has anyone any idea as to how we can encourage him to eat mixed up food?

loopylou Mon 30-Mar-15 16:30:16

Just wondering if he helped cook it would that help?
I've no experience of this I'm afraid.

tanith Mon 30-Mar-15 16:35:44

If he's eating a varied diet , which it seems he is then I would try not to worry about it. Its not essential he eats 'mixed up' food is it? As long as his diet if varied and healthy.

Sorry not much use but lots of youngsters have foody fads that they eventually grow out of.

Nonnie Mon 30-Mar-15 16:39:13

I think the best thing to do is talk to whomever is monitoring his autism as you could do more harm than good by getting him to change or by not doing anything to get him to change. Don't rely on us, ask the experts.

J52 Mon 30-Mar-15 16:39:55

I wouldn't worry about mixing it up. As long as he is eating healthily.

Have you read 'House Rules' by Judy Picoult? It is about a young boy with ASD who will only eat certain coloured foods on certain days. A very good read.


Jane10 Mon 30-Mar-15 16:39:57

Don't worry about mixing food up. If he'll eat what he can see and understand that's fine. At least he's eating! I know of children with ASD with extremely limited diets eg only cheesy wotsits! If you try to force him you risk making eating a seriously big problem. A calm atmosphere and nutritious food being consumed and you're doing a great job. In time he may gradually be relaxed enough to try new foods but don't make a big issue of it.

hildajenniJ Mon 30-Mar-15 16:45:13

Aah but he's not eating a varied diet, the above is just an example of how he wants his meals presented. He will eat toast or rice cakes with jam (bread is wrong apparently), chips, mashed potatoes and yogurt, and that's about it. He has recently stopped eating fruit, we don't know why, and he has no reasons, he also will not eat breakfast cereal with milk, he has the milk on the side and adds it as required (messy business). My DD is going to try meat again ( they've been vegetarian for a couple of years) to see if he'll eat it. She stopped eating meat on advice of her GP but if it means my GS will eat then it will be worth the sacrifice.

tanith Mon 30-Mar-15 16:51:50

Well that is a bit different hildajenniJ but still I really wouldn't worry , one of my grandsons lived on cereal and beans on toast for a long time and he's a fit and healthy six footer now.. if he can stop eating things then he can equally 'start' eating things. I'm sure fussing about it can only make it more important to him and maybe more worrying..

As someone else has said maybe you should ask his GP/consultant about it.

Juliette Mon 30-Mar-15 17:16:05

We had this with DGS1. DD thought that from when he was quite young that he was on the spectrum, he has never been officially diagnosed.
We never made a big deal of the food thing just went along with how he wanted to eat it, though it always appeared a little strange.
He always ate a balanced diet, salad veg. Etc. as long as everything was placed separately on the plate then he was fine. He still isn't keen on what he calls 'wet things' ie. stews and anything gravy based, though strangely has never had a problem with curry. I don't know why that should be different. I must ask him.
He is seventeen this year 6'2 and a healthy weight. Even now he likes his food separately on the plate, no gravy and he always eats things individually.
Meat, potatoes, then each veg. Shepherds pie, he has the mince and mash served separately.
DGS has certainly improved as he's got older but I don't think he will ever like mixed up food.
Not much advice there really, just don't worry as long as he is eating a fairly well balanced diet he will become more tolerant of things as he grows up.

ninathenana Mon 30-Mar-15 17:20:31

Has DD tried dishing up his meal in small separate bowls i.e. Peas in one bowl mash another etc.

My friends child didn't like the different things on her plate to be touching and would eat one element at a time.

ninathenana Mon 30-Mar-15 17:22:30

Sounds very similar Juliette

Teetime Mon 30-Mar-15 17:29:14

MY GD is also on the Autistic Spectrum and she doesn't like her food mixed at all. She is 16 now and seems quite well nourished. My DD1 doesn't worry about it- if she gets stressed she passes it on to DD1 so she just doesn't.

vampirequeen Mon 30-Mar-15 18:18:02

Does he seem healthy? If his restricted diet isn't affecting his health I wouldn't worry too much. Could your DD ask to speak to a dietician?

Deedaa Mon 30-Mar-15 18:22:58

GS1 is 8 and is awaiting assesment to see if he is on the spectrum. His attitude to food is exactly the same - very limited in what he will eat, and nothing must touch anything else on the plate.

hildajenniJ Mon 30-Mar-15 19:46:25

Thanks for all the replies. DD has an appointment with the dietician coming up soon. DGS also has a severe speech delay and is seeing the speech therapist. He starts school in August and DD wanted things "fixed" as much as possible before he goes. The school is very good and has dealt with all sorts of weird diets in the past!

Grannynise Mon 30-Mar-15 19:54:30

There's a very interesting autobiography by Temple Grandin which really gives an insight into her life and viewpoint as an autistic person. It helped me understand why some of the things we think of as unreasonable behaviour are totally reasonable and in fact unavoidable for a person on the spectrum.

soontobe Mon 30-Mar-15 20:19:50

He seems to like plain foods.
Do you think it might be difficult for him to eat spicy foods etc, or am I missing the point entirely. Please feel free to tell me if I am!

Greenfinch Mon 30-Mar-15 20:26:32

My 7 year old grandson is on the autistic spectrum and is exactly the same regarding food. With his packed lunch for school he takes a marmite sandwich (no butter -that would mean mixing ) with cubes of cheese which he can add himself to make his sandwich .There has to be either 6 or 8 cubes and they must be of the same size. He will only drink blackcurrant juice ,milk or water .He seems very healthy though he does have to have Movicol for constipation.

For breakfast he has 3 dry Weetabix followed by milk in a mug to drink

Just lately DD has tried giving rewards for any food he will try. He gets a sticker and then he will get a present when he has collected a certain number. He now enjoys peas ,mashed potato and cucumber and will tolerate sweetcorn and strawberries.

There is really no need to worry. When DD was young she had a friend who would only eat chicken legs and raw (uncooked)chips. She is now a healthy slim mother of 2 while DD who would eat anything struggles with her weight.