Deception. It’s part of parenting whether we like it or not. And I’m not talking about hacking into Facebook accounts and reading diaries. I mean the things we do when our kids simply refuse to come to the party, even if we have shed blood, sweat and tears for the betterment of them.
Food is always a main gripe for parents with children, ASD or not. It can be the joy of the house or the bane of our existence. I don’t know how many mums I have spoken to about this issue and man…the stories you hear can put anyone’s patience to the test.
For myself, I have a son that wouldn’t eat anything but plain pasta, plain cheese (but don’t you dare add the both together!), fruit bars or plain biscuits. Luckily we have taken a positive turn and his pallet has increased substantially in the last year. Meat has always been a huge issue to get into him and I know I am not alone on that one. There is a massive sensory issue with the texture for kids so it can be quite difficult to get your kids to eat it and when your childs sensory issue on foods is so limited to begin with. Many parents become desperate, and don’t even get me started on veggies (those things have colour!)
So back to being deceptive. Recently I began cooking a lot to test and trial things for him to see what he actually would eat. It took a while…a long while… But after watching him at a birthday party, sitting with his friends watching them all eat their party food. He slowly picked up the party sausage roll on his plate and bit into it. Hubby and I sat there with baited breath to see if it would actually be swallowed…and it was. We could see he was struggling but his desire to be like his peers was overwhelming and you could read it all over his face. He ate the whole thing. From that evening on he declared he loved sausage rolls.
We went with it.
So in order to get both meat and veggies into him I did a quick plan in my head and came up with the only veggie I knew he wouldn’t suspect to find and that I could easily hide into his food. Zucchini. Once you peel the green off it’s a perfect veggie to grate into anything.
500grams of lean beef mince
1 diced onion
2 peeled and grated zucchini’s
2 tablespoons of tomato sauce
1 table spoon of minced garlic
6 sheets of puff pastry
Half a cup of bread crumbs if desired
1 egg ( lightly beaten)
If your child can deal with any other herbs or veggies sneak them in accordingly. You can adapt this to pretty much anything you know your kid will eat!
Mix beef, onion, Zucchini, garlic and tomato sauce into a bowl. Pour egg mixture into bowl an gently mix in with hands. Add in the bread crumbs if desired. Once mixture is thoroughly stirred pull apart pastry sheets and lay out on kitchen bench. Depending on what size you want cut pastry into strips, I can get 3 strips out of one sheet which makes mini ones my toddler loves or you can make bigger portions if you just half the pastry sheet.
On one side of the pastry layer a strip of the beef mixture and roll the pastry over it so that it’s in a neat roll. Usually I indent the pastry roll into portions before i cook it.
Pop in the oven at 180 degrees and cook until golden brown.
For myself, I have to be careful not to let the bottom get to brown or my son won’t eat it. That colour will just not do (FFS)
Note: No I am not a nutritionist and I don’t pretend to be one, Just a mum who has racked up hundreds of hours trying to get my child to eat foods outside his 4 group policy. I have been lectured many times by nutritionists and health conscious folk that you simply just give your child the food they need to eat until they eat it (how easy!) If you have ever tried this with a ASD child and won this battle I will hand you my kidney. Or if you know your child will simply not eat for days on end unless it’s the specified, sensory, colour coded arrangement that only they like…well then I feel ya people xx