Monday, April 26, 2010

anti-bento lunchbox, part 2: an update

Considering this IS Autism Awareness Month, I didn't think it would be right for April to pass without a lunch belonging to my autistic child shared and pictured for the blog!

A couple months ago I shared with you the contents of his anti-bento lunchbox.  Today I will share with you an update.

Shockingly (or not) ;-) it hasn't changed all that much. But the changes that have taken place are pretty awesome.

The contents are pretty much the same: organic milk box, natural applesauce, something crunchy (on this day it was pretzel sticks). A new addition is yogurt, something that he used to only eat at home (and then, only through a straw).
Missing is the daily mini-fruit roll-up. These days he gets the fruit roll-up just once or twice a week (when he remembers to ask for it in the morning).  I'd like to have him eat fruit leather, but so far that's a no-go.

I'm very excited that he will now happily eat applesauce from large jars instead of the single-serving containers!!! YAY!  So now he takes his applesauce in a small Lock & Lock container and he eats it with a spoon that comes back home each day.  Currently he is averse to eating his yogurt the same way, so a single-serving container still stands for that. I'm confident though that he will be weaned off those soon. :)
The one thing that won't be changing anytime soon are the disposable milk boxes. In the words of my boy: "milk boxes make my tummy HAPPY!".  :)

My lovely friend Amy shares:
"Many autistics are resistant eaters (eat fewer than 15 foods) or suffer other severe eating disorders. They are NOT typical picky eaters & NOT motivated by hunger to change/eat. The cause may be sensory (extreme sensitivity to taste/texture/smell or inability to recognize hunger), obsessive/compulsive, muscle weakness,... oral motor (chewing/swallowing) problems and/or neophobia (terror of new things) - all common in autism."

Um, yeah. What she said! While I know a few autistic children who are much better eaters than my son, I know just as many who eat much less.  Owen falls somewhere in the middle, and while his eating habits leave me frustrated and worried, I'm thankful that he does have some flexibility in the things he DOES eat. For instance, he'll eat a pretty good variety of crackers and crunchy foods: saltines, Ritz, pretzels (any shape or size), Cheez-its, Goldfish crackers and most chips (sigh). He will eat peach or strawberry yogurt. He started eating vanilla ice cream last summer and will happily eat that no matter what brand or variety of vanilla it is. ;-)  He will drink any brand of orange juice, anything from no pulp to lots of pulp (what I tend to buy most).... he is not picky (anymore) about dishes, cups or utensils. He has his favorites, but he can stray from the familiar without any fanfare. I have a lot to be thankful for and we count our blessings.  And when a little breakthrough happens, like eating applesauce from a jar poured into a container rather than only eating from the single-serve cups? Well, then we celebrate like crazy!  The gift of having a special needs child comes in never taking for granted "the small things". With a special needs kid those "small things" are HUGE.  :)

Items used in this lunch:
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Alie said... [Reply to comment]

Just thought I'd share - I recently found Simply Fruit fruit rollups at costco. They look just like the typicial junk food roll ups (though a less bright color) and have the same texture but there is no added suger or aftifical color. There ARE a few other additives so it is not as good as the Strech Islad stuff but maybe your son would actually eat them. I think your son is a great eater. I know a few non autitic kids that don't eat half that variety. :)

Melissa said... [Reply to comment]

I've been eyeing those! The Super Target I shop at carries them, so I think I'd test out a smaller box first before buying at Costco. Are they large? The only ones I've bought so far are the mini sized roll-ups which are pretty little. I'm not sure what a normal sized one is. And I'm not sure he'd let me cut it in half....hmm. It's worth trying. TFS! :)

Christa said... [Reply to comment]

You are so right. Every accomplishment should be celebrated, even if that means they are opening their mouth to have their teeth brushed or asking for more water (instead of crying and banging their head because they have finished their glass). I love reading about other people's success stories! It makes my heart happy!

Jennifer said... [Reply to comment]

I just wanted to thank you for your honesty in your writing!

Alie said... [Reply to comment]

The ones from Costco are "normal size" I think. Like 7" long? Godd idea to test them first. I've gotten burned too many times buying things at Coastco and then having them rejected by all family members...

Amy said... [Reply to comment]

I was quoted!

Yay for the changes! It's been bad enough for us when Mott's changes its dang packaging -- we haven't come close to moving away from the single serve cups yet.

Melinda said... [Reply to comment]

I know this was last years post but I've only just 'discovered' your blog and had to thankyou for this post. As the Mum of 3 children, with eldest child having autism and middle significant sensory processing challenges I was apprehensive your message was going to be 'if you just make food attractive enough, they will eat it!'. I have gone to extreme methods to increase the variety in my eldest's son's diet, but his lunch box daily consists of dry noodles, peppermint strawberry mousse, snow peas and a mushroom. :)
Thanks so much for all your brilliant ideas and inspirations. :)

Jackie P. said... [Reply to comment]

My 4 year old son has autism, high functioning. He will NOT sit and eat, so I'm really digging your website because of the art food. Both he and myself have sensorary integration disorder. I remember my moms gf trying to get me to eat kiesh and I couldn't stand the texture and taste. Pretty much any soggy wet foods are out, although I can eat sweet soft foods such as apple sauce and yogurt. No chilli, casseroles, or anything wet and soft. The best thing about bento is the food doesn't touch! I remember having meltdowns as a kid if my food touched. I still eat with two plates and a bowl so nothing touches, my family thinks I'm crazy! Thank you for the wonderful tutorials!

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