As mentioned, the Monster is something of a picky eater.
When he was a baby, there wasn’t anything really that he turned his nose up at – he ate anything and everything presented to him (as babies are inclined to do). This continued when he got out of the baby-food phase. He’d happily eat just about anything put in front of him, which we thought was delightful.
And then it changed.First it was little things – he wouldn’t eat sauced pasta, for instance. Or macaroni and cheese. Over time, his food choices started narrowing further, until we got to where we are today. He has a variety of perhaps three or four things he’ll eat for dinner (pizza, chicken in various forms, hot dogs or hamburgers). He tends to have very similar lunches day after day, usually consisting of peanut butter in some presentation (roll-ups or sandwiches) or cheese sticks. Breakfast hasn’t been too much of a problem until recently (where he’s suddenly stopped wanting waffles).
I suppose one point of contention between the adults in the house is how much of an issue this is. My siblings and I can be, in our moods, notoriously picky eaters. One of my siblings, for instance, has a fairly limited diet… but he’s also a healthy, full grown adult now. My sister is a vegetarian. And I tend to get picky about food in weird spots. To my wife, the Monster’s diet is a major issue – to me, I don’t complain so much because he’s obviously healthy, eating sufficiently, and we can take him out to restaurants generally without too much trouble. While both of us want him to broaden his diet, I’m not willing to push so hard on that because I’d rather concentrate on more important things, like toileting or his communication skills.
My real issue is that I’m not sure it’s a major problem. I hear all the time about children with ASDs who only eat foods that are white, or certain categories of food, etc. And the Monster actually has a fairly broad diet when that’s all taken into consideration – he loves fruit, eats plenty of grains and dairy, and will eat certain meats. Sit him at a holiday meal with his whole family, and he’ll generally eat at least some of what’s put in front of him. He asks – without prodding – for apples, berries and bananas, and when it comes to apples, he’ll even prompt for how he wants it (‘big apple’ for a whole apple, ‘apple slices’ for slices, etc). I think I would be more concerned if he was very tightly constrained in those things, but as long as I can honestly report to his doctors that he’s having a variety of things, and is getting all of his vitamins (and yes, we do give him a multivitamin every day to ensure he’s getting all his nutrients), I’m not going to worry myself on it.
Course, there’s also the weirdness since yesterday. I’ll probably put the peppers and cucumbers out again to see if he nibbles on them, but he’s been asking for spaghetti, of all things. Not quite sure how that’s going to go, but I think we’re having pasta for dinner…