Monday, June 8, 2009

Eating Issues, Part 2

Ok. So you have tried all the above suggestions and nothing works. You are pulling your hair out and the tantrums have reached all-time highs. You are ready to throw in the towel and give in.

My advice is, do. To an extent.

You can take away some of the bad stuff while you are learning how to adjust to new foods. For instance, my son loves chicken nuggets. So I might serve chicken nuggets (either home-made or a good organic brand) every other night in order to get my child's protein requirement in. The bad stuff, in this case, might be the additives or nitrites (in the case of hot dogs.) However, consider this..chicken nuggets have both protein and zinc. Both are important to feeling well, muscle growth and wellness. So perhaps I have 'given in' to chicken nuggets, but I also know he is getting a quality protein with other important nutrients.

We also might try a new food, or if the food looks and tastes "yucky" we regroup and are given a choice of a healthy alternative...i.e. organic fish sticks, quality peanut butter and low sugar jelly, etc. Then mealtimes can be pleasant and remain a place to 'try' new things...not be forced. Forcing a sensory child seldom works, usually time and familiarity fix things.

Another thing I have learned is which vegetables are "ok" and which are really not. My son loves green beans, but refuses tomatoes. Likes carrots raw, but cooked will not touch them. So we compromise, and yes it does mean sometimes that dinner is unconventional and a bit more work for mom. However, if you are fighting with your sensory child over dinner, it is time to stop and make it something you both look forward to, instead of dread.

If vegetables are just not an option, sneak them in! Or compromise and have more fruits if that is what your child will eat.

Your child will need the following at meals. A protein, a carbohydrate and a fruit or vegetable. How you do that will largely be determined by the child, the day and the foods he or she can tolerate. Breakfast can be unconventional...peanut butter and jelly is how we start our day. My son doesnt like eggs..never has. We have tried all carbohydrate breakfasts but they make him feel terrible. peanut butter is a good compromise and a complete protein.

Lunch can be the same every day, but make sure there is a carbohydrate, pasta, bread, rice etc, and a protein ...meat, fish, chicken, ham turkey, cheese, eggs etc. then add a fruit or a veggie.

Family dinners are challenging. Your child may be trying very hard to try and like the things offered. Remember that every day and every meal for a sensory sensitive child is a challenge. He wants to please you, he just cannot due to all the sensations that are flooding his mouth.

tomorrow I will offer other tips for children for that 'fussy' evening meal. And additional suggestions for modifications of utensils, environment, etc.

1 comment:

  1. This is off topic, but how do you --
    tell your son that there is a surprise for him... my son hates surprises and so we don't do them if we have to -- but other family members-- well they have their own idea of fun times...


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