Video games are part of the cause. He gets so engrossed that he will completely forget about meals and drinks until I remind him. Yet he will tell me regularly that "breakfast is the most important meal of the day." He repeats it like a mantra, but would not eat it at all unless reminded.
|His seat at the breakfast table complete with Goats in Trees calendar in view|
It all started out so well. His creche had a healthy eating policy that meant fruit as snacks and the chance to try a variety of different foods, even curry! He would impress supermarket customers as he sat in the trolley munching on a sprig of raw broccoli as we did the shopping.
Since then, much has changed! I believe that unless you can keep your child in a bubble or only let them mingle with others whose parents have identical food policies to you, the broccoli-eating toddler is just a passing phase.
I don't know who started it, whether it was another child or TV or family members, but within a few years he would start to tell me that he didn't like my home cooking and now the only food he enjoys - with one exception - comes from packets, take-aways and fast food outlets.
Now his diet is quite limited, though the faddy eating does not seem to affect anything with chocolate in it! Two things I am glad about though: he doesn't like the sensation of fizzy drinks and he still eats broccoli, as well as some other vegetables. Remembering my own childhood and the difficulties I had with food, I don't stress about it too much. Your child will sense it if you do, and then they are in control, and boy do they love that! One day aspie boy should get through this phase and he is tall and he is healthy, so it can't be doing him much harm.
That is when he does actually eat though.
As soon as he started school I realised that he would go the whole day with no food or drink unless someone reminded him. And of course his behaviour would deteriorate if he did ignore everything that I'd carefully packed for him. As I write this he has been up for almost four hours, and it has not occurred to him that it might be time for breakfast - I am not starving my child though, as I did make him a hot chocolate earlier! A number of reminders will be needed to make breakfast happen. It's partly my own fault: he knows when everything has to happen during the school week as there are set times that are enforced, but I tend to let it slip at weekends.
It works the other way too. He used to self-regulate, but not any more. He will eat an entire family-sized pizza and not stop when he MUST be full. And then look for Jaffa Cakes.
"Because I always have Jaffa Cakes after dinner, Mum."
Will he grow out of this too? I'm not sure...
This post was written in conjunction with Special Saturday which aims to promote awareness of special needs. You can find Special Saturday on Facebook, on Twitter at @specialsat and via the hashtag #specialsaturday to link up. Code: N3GQENT7GKT8