I was a picky eater as a kid. I didn’t enjoy being at other people’s homes during meal time for fear of going hungry. I didn’t like eating at restaurants either, for much the same reason. And I would rather be hungry than eat something I didn’t like. Of course, 30ish years later I don’t have that problem AT ALL. There is nothing I would rather do than eat somewhere I don’t have to shop for, prepare, or clean up after the meal.
But, and I swear my mother cursed me, I have a child just like me. Food is his enemy. Meal time used to be the absolute WORST time of the day. At least once a week I would be outside on the porch crying angry, frustrated tears because I had cooked a meal that I swore he would like just to have him take one look, declare it gross, and refuse to even try it.
We did finally consult a nutritionist. One who specializes in helping kids on the autism spectrum. And her techniques really helped. He doesn’t really eat much more than he did before she came, but he at least doesn’t complain. And he does put food on his plate. Which means the younger two no longer refuse food just because their older brother does. Baby steps, right? Who she really helped was me. I no longer feel like a failure as a parent if he doesn’t eat dinner. And at her request, we had him checked for all sorts of vitamin and mineral deficiencies. And you know what? He is perfectly healthy. So as it turns out, the food pyramid may be a tad overrated.
I know many families swear by gluten-free/casein-free for their kids with Autism or Asperger’s. It doesn’t work for our family for a variety of reasons. Not the least of which is milk is one of Jett’s only sources of protein. But I digress. I suppose the point of this whole post is sometimes I forget. Sometimes I forget not to care what he’s eating. Sometimes I find myself working my way back into those angry tears. I have to physically remind myself (or J has to remind me) that my job is to provide healthy food, and that’s it.
After all, I was a picky eater too. And I turned out okay.