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: