Sunday, November 16, 2014

Dietary Restrictions

Shortly after Little A was diagnosed five years ago, we decided to try the GFCF diet. Weaning him off his then favourite snack, yogurt, was extremely hard, and he had to give up pasta as well, leaving him with just rice for meals and popcorn for snack time.

Not wanting to limit his diet further and given that popcorn was not allowed in school as it was considered a choking hazard, I tried all sorts of deathly expensive gluten free snacks, nearly all of which he rejected save two - pretzels and corn balls.

The hardest to quit were his cornflakes, the last remaining favourite snack once all other biscuits were given up. It was difficult to find gluten free cornflakes, and we only managed it in the last two or so years, so he has only been truly gluten free that long, though wheat free much longer. 

My main concern with this was that Little A didn't seem any less hyper or more focused by being gluten free, nor did his verbal skills improve markedly, which are the main improvements parents claim the diet brings. Add to this his sensory integration issues, and I was very worried he'd be limited to rice meals for the rest of his life, refusing to try anything new.

Every Sunday evening, Big A orders pizza for our (mine and his) dinner. This has been a tradition for several years now, and recently even the cat has begun to enjoy these meals as there is usually an accompanying portion of fried chicken which he shares with us. 

Little A has lately been showing an interest in the pizza. He opens the box amd takes a sniff, and sometimes carefully licks a slice. Not wanting to deny him new experiences, and knowing how "safe" he is with food choices, we've been putting a slice on a plate for him. It usually remains uneaten - licked maybe once in a small corner, but never bitten. Until tonight.

This evening, Big A went to meet a friend for coffee after dinner. Little A and I had just sat down when he left, and our slices of pizza were on our respective plates. Little A was daring enough to take a bite out of his for the first time. First he just bit it, then he tried chewing a tiny piece. Aided with plenty of water, he tried more small bites, with no prompting from me at all. While he had his plate of rice next to the pizza amd still ate from it, he kept nibbling at his pizza until he had consumed 3/4 of the slice. 

I was amazed, proud, and a little apprehensive. Will this mark the beginning of the "junk food only" stage, or herald the addition, finally, to Little A's food repertoire? More importantly, will he now become even more hyper, less focused and increasingly tantrumic? He has been fairly even tempered lately and I don't want this to change. 

Naturally, all we can do is wait and see. 

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