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Monday, April 16, 2007

Breakthrough - carnivores gnash their teeth

A year onwards from where we were last year. Chipping away at "neophobia."
[translation = a diet containing less than 20 foods]

We have been going great guns. Junior is now consuming oatmeal, pasta, rice, and applesauce. That constitutes four new foods! Feel free to congratulate us and send us your heart felt best wishes.

I know the campaign has been hard, months actually, added to every meal of the day, but it is beginning to pay dividends at last. Maybe he’s not really eating it as such, but those items do enter the oral cavity. He’s still at the 'spitting them out afterwards' stage, [after we’ve counted to four,] but it constitutes movement in the right direction. We count more slowly now too, which makes it more agonizing for him and for us, come to think of it. We try and persuade him to close his mouth, lip touching lip during the count, which is a great advance as you it is difficult to scream if your mouth is shut. [translation = more of a muffled drowning sound] Every time the mouth opens and the screams leap out, we advise him to close them again and begin the counting again, from one. Otherwise it doesn’t count. [translation = would be cheating of course]

Personally I think his therapist is getting a bit above herself. There’s ‘positive’ and ‘enthusiastic’ but there’s also ‘are you completely mad!” I think I managed to cover my surprise quite successfully at the time, when she suggested that we should put the pressure on and make him try meat. Yes! Meat! Has the woman taken leave of her senses? Is she completely insane or merely certifiable? My eyes are wide but I keep my lips firmly clamped together as I process this suggestion. Turkey? Perhaps a little beef? Now I know she’s lost it, but I smile cautiously giving the illusion of agreement and consensus. It’s not as if he’s a vegetarian by choice as such. In fact,if you consider his fish consumption this is clearly untrue, although categorizing ‘goldfish’ in that manner might be a bit of a stretch.

We leave occupational therapy with our four little tubs of tester food; oatmeal, pasta, rice and applesauce. I strap the children into the car, deep in contemplation.

Meat? Turkey, chicken, lamb, beef? What is the blandest, most textureless, flavourless meat on the planet?

Of course! Hot dogs!

I worship the ground that their little American feet walk on.


Jerry Grasso said...

Feeling really cruel? Take them to Fire of Brazil or one of those Brazilian meat places.....

Anonymous said...

Honestly, I never worried about how many foods my kids eat. I do know the eldest won't eat any fruit or veggies except mashed potatoes, tomato sauce/ketchup and juice. We're working on veggies. 5 pcs of something or no dessert. Got to start somewhere. I am certain he's over 20. We started pizza this year.. his has no cheese on it but he's happy.

Littlest will eat applesauce and mashed potatoes as his veggies/fruit plus juice. He's getting fussy on meat again. Still enjoys meatballs and chicken nuggets :)

When I asked the Dr he told me to make certain they kept drinking their milk (soy in my house, eldest can't have milk and youngest can no longer digest it - too long without) and a good multi-vitamin with minerals...

Good luck with the foods.


Anonymous said...

With the meat, you might want to try some kind of a test run on the digestive tract before you actually just mix some in. I've known lots of vegetarians who lose the ability to really digest meat very well, and their tummies need to adjust when they reintroduce it. Would it be possible to sneak some into another food that he will eat, or incorporate some boullion into something?

I just worry that if he can identify it making his tummy upset he might be very hard to bring around. Course, you don't want that with a safe food either. . .this is kind of challenging, indeed.

I feel for you!! I feel lucky in that, while Wills is severely texture averse and will not eat a lot of foods, he does eat a narrow diet with great nutritional content. I think we probably eat three vegetables (no potatoes or rice, oddly) and about 10 fruits (no berries!). He will eat any smooth muscle meat, cut up, without sauce or spice of any kind.

Yes, hot dogs are a great choice. Take off the outside. Also, oddly, chicken nuggets are really fairly easy to get down most neurologically different kids I know - especially the minced up meat kind. Will he eat fish sticks, or is that too mixed texture? Have you given a thought to vienna sausages or some potted meat like spam or devilled ham? They are nice and salty. . .

I admire the hard, hard work you are doing on this!! It sounds like you are making real progress, even if it may seem like you are presiding over an intermittent scream and food geiser most meals.

daedalus2u said...

You should look at Autism Diva's blog on kimchi, aka Autism Diva's Curing Vegetables®.


I suspect that vegetable based kimchi will be an accepted food.

I think that hotdogs are exactly the right kind of meat, one rich in nitrites. I think that cured meats, like spam, ham, bacon, salami, may be more acceptable too.

I think that fish and the various "white meats" might have intermediate acceptability and that uncured "red meat" will be the least accepted.

Melissa said...

Good luck - I have no advice from our end of things... Little Bug eats hamburger (picks is out of casseroles or chili) and will eat chicken nuggets. I hope you can find something that will work... and who knows? Maybe you'll be able to add another food to the list :)

Joeymom said...

Actually, the meat Joey eats best re meatbals made from ground turkey.

Take a package of ground turkey. Take 15 ritz crackers and put them in a ziplock bag, and reduce them to crumbs (a rolling pin does nicely- actually rolling, not beating the bag to death). Add 1/2 tsp of season salt, 1/4 tsp pepper, and a dash of garlic powder. Smoosh the whole mesh in a bowl until the texture is even. Then roll into balls. I cook mine over med-high heat in a pan sprayed with cooking spray for ten minutes, then stir, reduce the heat to med-low and cook another ten minutes. Some people like to cook with oil or butter better. You just need to get them browned, then cooked through.

Served over pasta, and voila! Bland personified! And better for him than hot dogs. If you're goign to get hot dogs, get them from Schwan's. They taste better. :P

Joey inly eats abotu a dozen foods, and tomato anything is not one of them. Cheese is on the menu. Goldfish is a whole foodgroup. ;)

kristina said...

Tofu.....completely bland and tasteless (and not meat, but us vegetarians have to maintain our standards).

(Kimchee can be kind of vinegary and spicey.....)

LAA and Family said...

Wow, congratulations on your hard work with the new foods! My son likes Gerber Graduate Meat Sticks. They make chicken, turkey, and "meat" (I wonder what that contains!?) They look a bit like Vienna sausages but they taste better. He ate them when he was a toddler, and when I started buying them again for his baby sister, he wanted to try them. He eats them for snacks. We call them "baby hot dogs".

Haddayr said...

I offer my congratulations on what you've done so far and share your horror at the idea of meat.

Hot dog is a good idea, I suppose, if you feel quite certain you want to go with the therapist's suggestion.

So is balogna, or better yet processed turkey slices.

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