Funny with Food

10 Jan

Today’s daily prompt was probably meant to be about ice cream. BUT, it made me think about all the odd eating habits that can be found in children with autism. 

Due to heightened sensory issues in children with autism, It is not unusual for them to adopt strange eating habits. 

autistic-boy-restaurantSome examples I have found so far in children that I have taught: 

  • Certain smells of food, even the most normal of things. 
  • Dislike for tomatoes. (quite common in autistic students) 
  • Insistence in eating the same thing each lunchtime, without variation, e.g. cheese sandwich 

It is not unusual for them to simply avoid eating if foods they comfortable are unavailable, or presented outside of the context normally expected by the child. Diet issues do not necessarily affect all children on the autism spectrum, but it is certainly a common trait.

Tantrums in frustration can often be associated with meal times. It can be a stressful time. One boy I had recently would not eat food, only non food items, the more dangerous, the better. He eventually also got a diagnosis of Pica. (which can often be associated with imbalanced diet and lack of essential nutrients) 

People often ask me what I think of children taking multi vitamins. There are plenty on the market for children at the moment. If the reason is a genuine one, like it would be with autism, then I do not see why not. 

Better that than irreversible health problems? 

It might even be worth looking more closely at the nutrition side of the issue. It is a well known fact that behaviour is affected by what we eat. perhaps a book like this one is worth a look? 


One Response to “Funny with Food”

  1. angloswiss January 11, 2013 at 07:29 #

    My 42 year old son is autistic, so he has spent enough time to realise what he likes and does not like. Eating is no problem and I never have anything left if he is at the table. His absolute favourites are pasta, eats as much meat as he gets. Salads are just something he has to eat according to me for health reasons. He refuses brussel sprouts and broccoli – do not if it is the colour or the taste, but no problem. I cook him carrots when we eat the other stuff. He absolutely dislikes any form of mushroom. He will also not eat cheese, but funnily likes cheese tarts and cheese fondue. My main problem was that he was getting enough food quality like vitamins, but it seems the diet all worked out. Of course during the early years up to 12 years old he threw his tantrums if something arrived on the plate he disliked. But there was always somethig to compensate that he liked. I am satisfied with his progress as an adult. Certainly something different, but he has made his own way in life. Still lives at home, but works in a local factory as a metal worker.

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