Sunday, August 24, 2008

I Can't Believe It's Not Humus

You say "hummus," my mom says, "humus..."

My son, whom we've earlier in his life convinced to try tomato things by saying, "it's like ketchup" and broccoli by comparing it to trees, says, "You can't tell me it's dip! I know it's hummus!"

He's narrowing his food choices again, and we're desperate to get a few more things into his stomach. He's not getting enough into him lately. Most foods don't get touched. He's gone from about 90%ile on weight to 60%ile over the past two years, meaning he's not gained weight in that time. And now he's eating even less...we're trying to be creative and also let him help pick meals from a list (part of the autism is that he can't generate lists/ideas on his own very well, so giving him some choices helps). It worries me, but we can't force him to eat. Not sure if we should be contacting a feeding expert or not--I know a lot of kids are very picky eaters. I'm not going to make him eat "leaves" (salad), but if only he'd get both more quantity and variety down.

We do go to the farmer's market and the specialty grocery, but he rarely shows any interest in any of the foods--I'll buy those he does show interest in. You can bet I bought the flax bread he wanted! He will eat bananas, apples, oranges, sweet potatoes, canned peaches, corn, carrots, broccoli, a few kinds of meat, chicken, fish, cheese, yogurt, and cereals, rice, plain bagels and waffles, but he won't eat most any fruits or vegetables other kids would like. He won't eat pasta. He usually won't snack. No beans, no nuts. No pineapples, no raisins, no other similarly sweet foods most kids like. Now he's dropping foods out of his diet that he's previously eaten, such as peanut butter and jelly, which was a good snack with some fat in it for him, and salsa, which gives some vegetables. No more applesauce, no more olives. He'll eat fresh peas or beans but not the pod, and most of those are out of season.

As much as I worry about this, he still eats far more than my niece, who is 5 years old and has gone from being ahead in her development in her first year or year to being severely delayed and stunted in her growth, with most skills on par with a 2 to 3 year old. She mostly gets Pediasure and whatever tablespoons of a couple of foods she will deign to eat. She's continually irritable, probably because she's not getting enough food. My sister's at wits' end with this. The pediatrician told her she didn't need the Pediasure, though she'd get no other protein source if she didn't.

5 comments:

Wheelchair Dancer said...

whew. stressful. congrats on the new scooter, btw.

yanub said...

I am told, though I have no recollection of it, that my baby sister ate nothing but Spaghetti-Os twice a day for over a year. I think Mom is exaggerating, but not by all that much. The kid was a picky eater, and pushing 40, she's still a picky eater.

FridaWrites said...

Thank you, WCD. I'm sure he's the only 3rd grader packing tuna for lunch, but as long as we can get him to eat something...

My brother-in-law isn't quite that picky, but almost. He's in better health than one would expect, which is somewhat reassuring.

Donimo said...

That does sound stressful. My nephew has been a picky eater all his life. He doesn't eat much and doesn't have as many healthy foods offered to him as your son seems to. He seems fine energy wise and is at the top of his class scholastically. He's now 13. I've worried about his development but he seems to be okay. I do wonder if this will hold him in good stead into adulthood, though. Maybe a dietitian could help you with your worries and with your menus.

FridaWrites said...

Good idea. I know parents usually head for the dieticians when there's diabetes or similar issues, but hadn't thought about it with picky eating. Involving him with it might help him take more responsibility for his eating too, so that it's not just Mom "nagging."