Eating healthy is a tough call. I just watched Jaime Oliver's new program Food Revolution (or Explosion, whatever). It is obvious that making changes in American cafeteria's is gonna be a real, well pain in the poop. For example, look at the food my son tells me he has eaten for lunch during the school day. Recently, I found out that my son was eating pizza daily, drinking milk and eating chips or some other junk food. No fruit (he told me the apples looked like they had been out for a while and was leery of them), not a veg to be had (pizza sauce is a veg?) and he is as plugged up as a clogged drain.
Tonight, I was informed that my son had been able to get cranberry juice in the cafeteria, but couldn't anymore, and was drinking Hawaiian Punch (OMG they still make that junk?). What happened to the cranberry juice? The fruit he had been having at home, grapes, clementines, apples, oranges, pears, kiwi; were strictly at home. Veg for him is green beans (canned or fresh whichever we can get)....or salad with french dressing again, at home. How can we be expected to get all the fruit and veg in him for the day by 7PM? Which moron came up with pizza sauce as a veg? Now that is just plain stupid. Or as we would say in this house, "taking stupid to a whole new level and beyond."
Eating healthy....what does that mean in an Aspie house?
Well, first of all we look at texture. What is it and how does it feel in his mouth? For example, he loves apple sauce. If I make it homemade, he will go through it faster than anything. I made several quarts (maybe gallons, I am not totally certain) of it this last fall and we are completely out, even of the frozen stuff I had made. My son's capacity for the things and textures he likes is amazing. We do cook meat here; although texturally fish sticks are more palatable for him, we will limit the number of sticks and INCREASE the fruit and veg and maybe leave off the bread entirely. He is getting the bread on the sticks, what does he need more bread for?
In foods class, my son made a chip and dip that had all the spices he could shove into it. Really, it wasn't bad, but it would have cleaned out any one's sinuses for at least a year. Making a change to TRY spicy foods was a huge deal for him, and maybe just maybe my son will make a difference, like Jamie, and get people to eat food that is good for them and not junk.
Another good example was this evening. WE hadn't eaten out in about 6+months. By choice, actually, we wanted to see how long we could go without eating outside the home and how much $$ we could save. We ate out, and frankly, my son and husband are better chefs than what we had tonight. We got home and were still hungry, so i grabbed the homemade granola, and my son a wholewheat bread snack with prunes, and my husband a high fiber brownie. NOW we are full...although our stomachs are still messed up from the restaurant food. After not having it for a while, our bodies are not used to it nor do we eat it often.
For me, it is exciting to see a show like Jamie's. Although, seeing it with the gen ed kids around him is frustrating. I wish we could see what other Aspie's are eating, and if the obesity rate, which is rumored to be VERY high, could be helped by Jamie and his current programing. Our Aspie kids are some of the most overweight of any kids in the country. Autistic children eat what they like, no matter if it is good for them or not. Making enormous alterations to their food choices, although problematic, and difficult, would be amazing to witness. It would have to come from the home and not the school.
In fact, I remember reading that Jamie's changes to the school food in England; the kids wouldn't eat it because they never had it before and their parents were bringing them the junk they wanted. Do you know why? Because it was easier to bring the little brats the food they were whining for than teaching them to eat something that was better for them. Our ped once told us that if we put it in front of our son long enough, he will eat it. We did, and he did. Oh he whined and moaned and then decided he liked it after all. Eventually, the bringing of the food must have stopped because the kids had to eat what they were given.
It is again a matter of manners and training, when we were kids did we have to eat stuff we didn't like? I did and if I didn't eat it I had it for breakfast the next AM. If I didn't eat it then, I went hungry until I did eat it. Putting food in front of our kids and showing them that they have to eat it is part of the process.
I got lucky, when I was a kid, my brother would take me out to eat and tell me if I didn't eat something I had never had before he would refuse to pay for my meal. I learned to eat whatever he told me I had to try (I have tried a lot of stuff believe me). So should our kids, so should my kid, and after seeing Jamie's show I will do my darnest to try. I challenge all of us to do it too.
Let's get off our overstuffed butts and eat better food, hit the fruit and veg and high fiber and DO a better job of showing our Asperger kids that eating junk is only gonna kill them in the long run. I will give it a shot.