October 17, 2018
The past weekend was a HUGE struggle for Barclay. His eating regression is getting worse. I think that my putting so much effort into increasing the amount of what he eats and introducing him to so many new foods is having the opposite effect. I am pushing too hard.
Over the weekend I offered him the White Bean Alfredo I made earlier in the week. The first time he ate it he seemed to love it. The next time he began to spit it out and it was a struggle just getting him to eat a few bites. The following day I offered it again he nearly gagged. It was as if the taste and texture progressively became repulsive to him. It caused a full blown meltdown. He was in his high chair kicking and screaming. He was begging to go to sleep. Anything to not have to eat. It was exhausting to us both. Eventually he asked for yogurt and I gave in.
I took him to his pediatrician today out of concern that his health was being impacted by his restricted diet. To my surprise, he had gained weight since his last visit. The pediatrician said he looked great. She said someone with a nutritional deficit would likely have symptoms such as bloody gums, weight loss and lethargy; none of which he had. She asked me about the foods he does eat. I gave her the rundown on what my husband and I call his Nursing Home Diet, meaning he prefers his foods soft, bland and room temperature. I also told her about supplementing him with Pediasure and multivitamins.
Her final recommendation, at this point, is to continue what we are doing. Expose him to new foods BUT not to worry if he won’t eat them. He is just fine. It’s not worth the stress it is causing our entire family to be overly concerned. She said for kids on the spectrum this is super common. I can say that I was relieved to hear that. I felt I was failing my son because of his restrictive diet. I felt I was not only allowing his health to be compromised but doing him a disservice not teaching him to enjoy and love food. She also said that for now, food isn’t motivating for him. Some people live to eat, others eat to live. He falls in the latter.
I would love one day for Barclay to get excited to go get ice cream or to helping me cook his favorite recipe. I would love him to look forward to all the wonderful flavors of the holidays. I long for the day when he can’t decide what he wants for his birthday dinner because he has so many favorite foods. I am, however, relieved that he is first and foremost HEALTHY and he does have some solid food he WILL eat. I am going to have to let that be enough for now.