Toe, not so much.
You know how people say their kids are "finicky" or "picky eaters?" Well how about if your child backs away from the table screaming "Wwwwwwhy?!?!" every time you serve noodles? Or if anything crunchy in your child's food elicits an immediate gag-spit and the response, "Nasty, there's dirt in it!" Sigh.
I just recently cajoled Toe into taking his first taste (yes, at 6 yrs old, his FIRST) of ice cream by "blowing on it to make it warm."
Atypical eating behaviors occur in 3 out of every 4 autistic kids, so, Toe's just living the life. He has what I would consider the worst possible combo of all ASD eating behaviors--food faddism coupled with textural intolerance--which makes for a kid who can stand eating only abut 10 things and considers only about 3 of those 10 desirable.
Did you know you can hide pureed ham inside a PB sandwich with little detection? Did you know you can add winter squash to chocolate frosting and put nearly a full ground raw carrot into a single cupcake? As far as Toe food goes, I am a master of disguise, bait-and-switch, parental persuasion and (junior)molecular gastronomy.
One of my Big Brave Goals for 2011 (I don't do "resolutions") has been to gather new tools and techniques for helping Toe expand his dietary repertoire and be more adventureous with food. A lot of my inspiration has come from Japanese style children's cuisine (which combines high nutrition, whole foods and attractive, kid-friendly presentation) so I call this my Bento Box Initiative.