Poor eating

Hi everybody, I’m new to all this and this is my first time writing on anywhere like this! 
so I have a 3 year old, Archie, he’s on the asd assessment process. He has many issues and many quirky little ways about him, but the one that easily causes me the most stress and worry is his lack of eating! He just will not eat anything that I call meal foods, it’s all about the snack food for him, complete refusal to try anything new at all, I’m at my wits end with it. I give him vitamins to at least try and get some goodness into him. Iv been told before to keep cooking him his meals and he will eat when he’s hungry, my thing is, he doesn’t, he can be starving and still not eat! He gags on anything soft. 
so I guess the point to my post is, what do others do? Do I just give him what he likes so at least he eats something, while offering new foods in small amounts or do I do as iv been told and carry on cooking his meals and hope one day he eat at least a mouthful? 

  • Hello, I had similar expereinces as a young child as I was unable to explain why I found some food textures hard to deal with and was fed on Carnation milk as this was the one thing I would drink. It is a difficult situation and even more as a child and not being able to explain what the issue is with food. Offering small amounts of new foods is a good idea and I hope this helps. I still struggle as an adult but have found foods I am happy with and are healthy so please do keep trying, it just takes time to find the food items that Archie will eat.

  • Thank you so much for your reply, it’s really good to hear from people who have been through the same thing, especially themselves, helps me to see it through Archie’s eyes a little bit. 

  • Hello,

    My son was an extremely fussy eater and was diagnosed at 4. Like Archie, he wouldn't eat anything soft. Only hard, golden, yellow foods (anything Birds Eye to be fair!) which is quite the norm for Autism. 

    I know it's really worrying and I don't know how good his communication is but it will get better with time. I would start by giving him what he likes to eat as him being hungry will just make him upset and may bring on other behaviour, but keep trying other things like @LucyLandRover said.

    My son didn't like food touching on a plate, so I found the plates with the sections in helpful. You could try using picture cards of food for mealtimes so that he has some choice in what he eats, find things that he will eat but not in a conventional way like my son wouldn't eat eggs but would eat eggy bread because it looked like toast. Once he gets older, make a list of foods he likes and food he would like to try and pick a new food every day/week. 

    Try to relax at mealtimes and don't have a battle over food.. No one wins. You know Archie best so do what you think is right by him. I know first hand they will not succumb and eat when they are hungry! I never pressured my son into trying anything because I was a fussy eater too,  I have just been diagnosed with Autism at 46! I used to gag on food I was forced to eat as a child but have a really healthy varied diet now. Oh and my son is 6ft and very healthy now! 

    Good luck. 

  • Thank you so much for your reply oh he does love a birds eye chicken nugget haha and yes, Archie being hungry definitely brings on other behavioural issues. Eggy bread is a really good idea, I’d never thought of that so thank you. I do ask him what he’d like to eat but I sometimes question if he truely knows what things are if you understand what I mean? So pictures would be a good way to go. Lots of good ideas, thank you so much!! 

  • You're very welcome.. I remember exactly what it was like you worry all the time and get given lots of advice by professionals. Does Archie like messy play? My son didn't and there is a definite link with sensory issues and food but have a look at ARFID as well.. It's only recently been recognised as a food disorder. Good luck with everything. 

  • No he’s not overly keen on messy play and god help us if he gets some ‘wet’ food on his hand! It really is a constant worry, some days/ weeks I honestly don’t know how he functions on what little I actually get him to eat, and my goodness he functions haha I call him my Duracell bunny, he never stops! 
    oh iv not heard of ARFRID, I will definitely look into it

  • No problem.. Good luck with everything. 

  • Hello, I have been thinking a lot about my own childhood food issues and remember my grandmother serving mashed potatoes as one dish I would eat but she made a game of it by making faces in the mash which we then added gravy to. I wish I could do more but it is so difficult even as an adult to explain to people.