Along with autism, my son also has be diagnosed sensory processing disorder, not unlike many other children on the spectrum. I have written before about how it is these sensory issues that cause some of the biggest challenges in our house – from diet to wandering and everything in between!
Food. To think about it, it used to really stress me out! My son’s diet consists of about ten things, and none of them are traditional fruits and vegetables. When he was young he used to love fruits and vegetables and hated so many of the things that other kids love, like chocolate cake! The common pictures of children enjoying their 1st birthdays with chocolate cake all over their face… my son… he’s got blueberries all over his face!
I’m not sure exactly what the turning point was, but he just stopped eating fruits and vegetables. It didn’t stop there though. This continued through the other food groups as well, until it became the set number of foods that it is today.
We have tried so many different things and I have always had those that will say, ‘Oh, just don’t serve him anything else until he eats what you want him to. He’ll get hungry and eat!’. Well, I am sorry to say, that this does not hold true with my son, believe me, I have tried it! I have also had some tell me to arrange the food on his plate so that it looks ‘fun’! After making more than enough smiley faces out of different foods, this is something that doesn’t interest him at all. After seeing his physical reaction to some foods, I have learned over the years that he is truly unable to eat certain foods at this point, and I respect that. Food also shouldn’t be about a power struggle. I continue to introduce new foods, but respect when he says ‘no thankyou’. On the flipside we celebrate when he decides to try something new, whether the final outcome is that he likes it or not… that doesn’t matter. The fact that he tried it, is what really matters!
However, with that being said, I am always looking for ideas on how to ‘sneak’ those needed healthy foods into his diet. I was excited a few weeks ago when I saw the Yonanas machine, made by Dole. For those that aren’t familiar with it, it’s tagged as a ‘healthy dessert maker’ that uses only 100% frozen fruit to make what looks and tastes like soft serve ice cream.
Ice cream?!?! My son likes ice cream!!! It was time to take a serious look at this machine that was hopefully going to change life as I knew it today!
I started doing a little a research and was intrigued, but when I saw a couple of videos I wasn’t completely sold as the consistency didn’t look as smooth as it was made to look in the advertisements, and this would have been an issue. But yesterday, I found out that a friend of mine actually has the Yonanas machine and she loves it!
So, in the middle of the hockey tournament we were at, I asked my son if he wanted to be able to make our own ‘soft serve ice cream’ at home. Well, what was he going to say? No??! He said ‘YES!!’ Alright, maybe I’m not being totally upfront with him by not sharing that it’s made out of fruit. Just for the beginning, that’s going to have to be one of those little secrets… just until he tries it.
I will be trying this out later today and will be sure to share how things go. Yes, even if I blow up the kitchen! Now I really shouldn’t joke about that as I have banned from the kitchen on many occasions due to my, well, lack of ability!
So stay tuned! If it allows him to even get one serving of fruit in a day, it will be the best $50 I have spent. My fingers are crossed!!