If you have a child like mine who devours nuggets, pizza, and fries and ask if onion rings are a vegetable, you are probably in need of some ideas. You are in luck, because all you really may need to do is have a party. Here is a little background: My son has Fragile X, which is a genetic syndrome that causes developmental delays. Since many children with Fragile X prefer certain foods and can be picky eaters, so my goal is to find ways to widen the scope of appealing healthy foods. So here is what I tried:
1. Found Partners in Crime: I invited some of Michael’s friends, Zack and Logan, who like fruits and vegetables. Their mom, Carole, was more than willing to come to our party, as she wanted her boys to try some new foods as well.
2. Determined the Menu: Michael’s “papa” introduced him to the idea of dips. Since dipping food is now big fun, I decided to offer fruits and veggies along with a variety of dips. Fruits and veggies included: carrots, celery, apples, strawberries, grapes, and bananas. Dips included: peanut butter, hummus, whipped cream, and chocolate pudding.
3. Found a Secret Weapon: Carole found some toothpicks which were a huge hit because playing with one’s food is just as much fun as eating it. Here are some of the photos:
As you can see, the toothpicks offered kids the chance to get very creative with their food. Zack, sometimes you scare me.
Michael saw all of this healthy stuff and ran to the cupboard to get some crackers. This turned to be a great thing, because he combined the crackers with some of the fruit. It sounds disgusting, but it served the purpose.
Carrots and chocolate pudding..and why not?
Banana, whipped cream, and a cheese sandwich cracker…who knew?
Big lips made from a half strawberry, chocolate pudding and whipped cream.
What was most surprising to me is the combinations the kids chose. What was most rewarding is that all boys tried something new. Zack and Logan both tried hummus. Michael tried the banana and peanut butter combo, among many other delicacies. Although he has had peanut butter in the past he rarely ate it. Now he eats peanut butter and honey sandwiches regularly and is willing to experiment. If you have any ideas about ways to get your child to eat a wider variety of food, please post them here. Also if you wish to see more posts like this, please comment.