How to get your Special Needs Kids to Eat (and fussy ones)
By Rita Davidson
Living with special needs kids, comes with new challenges. Even getting regular kids to eat well is at least, interesting!
With the increase in the chemicals in our environment, fake food manufactured as fast food, it is no wonder the new rate of autism now stands at 1 in 88. (1)
Even if your children do not have autism, any special needs like down syndrome or other learning issues often will benefit by greater nutrition.
How foods get eliminated?
When our son Andrew was small, he slowly stopped eating one thing after another. First nothing green, then nothing orange and so on. By the time he was done, he was only eating everything white: rice, potatoes, pasta. We called it the ‘white diet’.
It was troubling as he limited himself to so few foods that they could not possibly be sustaining him. This went on for a few years before we discovered gluten issues. This was before he was diagnosed with autism.
Once he went gluten-free, the first we noticed was he began to eat more. Fast forward to today, this kid who only ate 3 white foods, now eats: salad, tomatoes, mushrooms, meat of all kind, celery, cauliflower, carrots, onions and more.
The Secret Soup
One way I get good food into my special needs kids, whether special needs or not, is soup. This is not just any soup, but vitamin/mineral rich soup. It’s good for everyone at every age. Bonus! We get two meals out of this too.
Here’s how I do it.
Meat: Your choice of:
- whole chicken, or pieces,
Vegies: your choice of: (if keeping it bland and white)
- White Cabbage
- Chinese cabbage
- IF tolerated; carrots, squash or your choice.
Spices: your choice of:
- Garlic powder
- Onion powder
- If tolerated, oregano, basil or others
Your choice of Rice, Pasta or Potato
Dairy-free cheese (optional)
1. Chop all your vegetables and have them ready.
2. Cook for 6 hours or more. So start this in the morning and let simmer all morning, if you want it for lunch.
3. At lunch strain out the meat or meat pieces and set aside for supper. (Bonus! There’s your second meal! The broth is what is really nutritious and this gets you two meals in one if you want.)
4. Now that the meat is out, add in your Chinese cabbage or cabbage, cauliflower and one cup of rice, if your using rice or potato.
Put timer on for 40 minutes to cook on low, to cook rice and vegetables. Cover.
5. If your using Rice pasta, put this in another pot to start cooking.
6. When timer goes off, stir it up and serve. Your done!
For your special needs kids:
1. Take a cup or more of soup and blend in a blender until liquid. (hint, don’t let them see you blending or your secret is out!
2. Add into each bowl and add your choice of:
dairy-free cheese, gluten free rice pasta or meat pieces.
The blended soup of all pale items will go undetected into your child. The addition of cooked rice, pasta, or even meat chunks will make them think it is a real soup, but without the ingredients they may not like.
As Andrew ate more of this, he got used to eating items he would never eat before. Now he will eat this soup not blended!! As long as I keep the white veggies chopped small, and only give him One carrot in a bowl. 🙂
I am now using this blended soup again on Liam, our growing 3 year old!
Add some gluten-free buns and you’ve got a hearty meal, even in the heat!
I hope this soup will be a hit at your house and your family will grow healthier with each pot!
God bless and enjoy!
(1) About 1 in 88 children has been identified with an autism spectrum disorder (ASD) according to estimates from CDC’s Autism and Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network http://www.cdc.gov/ncbddd/autism/data.html
©Copyright 2013 Rita Davidson All Rights Reserved.
Rita is a Catholic wife and mother of seven children. Mark is her ever patient husband. She reverted back to the faith when her oldest was making her First Communion. By then, she had completed degrees in Hairdressing and Make up artistry. She went on to receive a degree in Natural Health and another degree in Art. At age 26, Rita suffered a minor stroke. With no lasting effects, this dramatically changed her outlook on life. In 1996, Rita began ‘Little Flowers Family Apostolates’ to reach out to other families with her new found faith, by creating unique Catholic books and resources.. In 1999, she wrote the bestselling, ‘Immodesty; Satan’s Virtue’. She was editor of ‘The Catholic Health Letter’ for 7 years. She has been a homeschooling mom for 20+ years, and has written for various magazines. She is honored that families have trusted her with their questions, needs and concerns over the years. She continues to write and reach out to Catholic families with her husband, Mark and their 4 boys through http://www.LittleFlowersFamilyPress.com