Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Winter Foods and ASD

Winter brings with it that wonderful feeling of rugging up and enjoying delicious hearty meals that we don’t crave in the warmer months. But it can also bring it with a number of challenges for parents with fussy mouths to feed, particularly those with ASD and the often associated food sensitivities.

There are ways to make winter food tasty and healthy even for the most discerning diner. Being involved in the food preparation stage can help to create excitement for new foods. Winter meals are particularly good for this as they usually involve simple preparation followed by time in the oven. From mixing and measuring to getting things out and putting them away again, your little one may be more motivated to sample and enjoy something they’ve had an active part in creating.

If it comes down to the food itself, try using the meals you know they love as a base concept and putting your own winter spin on it. Homemade meatballs with chunky salsa, delicious soups, pita bread pizzas with sweet potato or odd shaped pasta with round cut vegetables. Fun variations that can allow for the cheeky addition of easily disguisable vegetables. Then there are simple yummy sauces which can be made using natural ingredients matched to the flavours you know your child enjoys (like capsicum jam which tastes sweet like shop bought tomato sauce).

Fortunately for sufferers of food allergies (and their parents), a rise in awareness in recent years has seen the emergence of an endless number of ‘free from’ products available for those seeking out alternatives. You can now get almost any product gluten free from the local supermarket with an increasing number of dairy and sugar free products also available. Plan whatever type of meal it is you want to tempt your fussy one with and then replace the usual ingredients for alternatives like gluten free bread and pasta.

Winter is the perfect opportunity to be able to recreate simple dishes and slip in extra vegetables and other nutritious additions. The use of alternative and natural wholesome ingredients, plus a touch of creativity, can help you to make fun, tasty and healthy food for your fussy eater this winter.

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