Like a lot of those on the spectrum, SP has a limited diet of very specific set of accepted foods.
Most of these are beige.
Chips, crisps, cheese sandwiches with white bread, white Mr Whippy ice cream,bananas (sometimes).
Cucumbers are ok and ham is sometimes acceptable in a sandwich. Innocent Fruit Tubes are devoured in multiples, although the problem there is that I can only buy them in KFC – I must be the only person who visits with the primary intent of buying squashed fruit!
I must also be the only person who puts slices of cake into a packed lunchbox just to conform to expectation, knowing full well it’ll come back uneaten.
Cadbury’s Giant Chocolate Buttons are all that sustains him some days. Even then the ones that are the wrong shape get unceremoniously turfed out. If Cadbury’s are ever looking for a particularly pernickety Quality Controller, SP’s your boy!
At nursery he will eat apples and drink milk, but not at home. Go figure.
I wonder what happened to the baby who used to be so willing to try everything. One thing at a time gradually dropped from his palate if they weren’t eaten frequently enough. Shepherd’s pie, cheese risotto, fish fingers, corned beef hash, scrambled eggs with ketchup, yogurts…foods went from ‘delicious’ to ‘don’t go there’ without rhyme or reason,
Luckily his tastebuds are seemingly hyposensitive and he doesn’t pick up on the vitamin supplement that I add to his juice. His hang ups seem to come purely from how a food looks.
Unfortunately the usual tactics of encouragement don’t work. It doesn’t matter what everyone else is eating, if it’s green/meaty/wet/not beige it’s not leaving the plate. Arranging things into cutesy displays gets nothing more than a look of disinterest. Hiding vegetable is tomato sauce won’t work if tomato sauce is rejected on the grounds of it already being too wet and too red.
We try a relaxed, ASD-friendly approach of gradual introduction and still he sticks to his sandwich and cucumber guns.
But then sometimes there’s a glimmer. This evening, having watched a character eating a bowl of spaghetti on a YouTube video, SP requested spaghetti for himself! Never mind that it was bedtime, I skipped my way to the kitchen to boil the pasta before he changed his mind.
And he ate it! Not all of it, but enough to have the Husband and I high-fiving! Ok, it’s another beige food, and it might not be on his list tomorrow, but for today it’s at least another food.
Sometimes it’s the little things that make us happy, even if they’re beige.