ASD Eating Problems & How to Get Help

The phrase ‘picky eating’ is often misused when describing the eating habits of children with ASD.

This over generalised term does not accurately describe a child with ASD with significant food refusal. Quickly ascribing this title to your child can lead to overlooking the underlying treatable deficits that are in fact causing this food limitation and affecting your child’s health and nutrition.

‘Picky eating’ usually indicates children who eat over 30 foods and will eat foods from various food groups. Children on the autism spectrum often have a feeding problem in which their diet consists of less than 20 foods and can exclude entire food groups. Understanding the root of your child’s limited diet is fundamental to finding them the help they need.

Learn more on how you can help your child here.

Mrs Vinny's Cookery Class Recipes

Below is a list of recipes for you to try at home.
Middle and upper school pupils have already had a go at making these at school!
Cook fun, healthy recipes with your family!


POACHED EGG / SCRAMBLED EGG / FRIED EGG / OMELETTE
Equipment needed
  • small frying pan / small pan
  • spatula / fish slice
  • small whisk / wooden spoon
  • small bowl to mix in
  • circular pastry cutter (use with poached eggs).

  • Method
    POACHED EGG - hob setting 4-5
    1- fill small frying pan with hot water
    2- wait till water fully boils
    3- place pastry cutter in centre of the pan
    4- crack egg into the centre
    5- poach egg until cooked, about 3-4 minutes
    6- place toast in toaster, drain egg onto kitchen paper, place on cooked toast.

    FRIED EGG - hob setting 4-5
    1- heat pan up with a little oil, crack egg into the hot pan
    2- leave it to cook for 2-3 minutes until it looks cooked, flip it over if you want it fully cooked without a runny centre.

    SCRAMBLED EGGS - hob setting 3-4
    1- using a non stick pan, drop a little oil onto the pan
    2- heat oil and then add egg with a little milk and salt and pepper into the pan
    3- stir with a wooden spoon or whisk till it thickens.

    OMELETTE EGGS - hob setting 4-5
    1- mix / whisk egg, salt, pepper and a little milk in a bowl
    2- heat a small nonstick frying pan with a little oil, pour egg mixture into the pan
    3- using a pallet knife, move the egg mixture from the side
    4- you can add cheese / ham /herbs etc. if you want.

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    SUMMER WRAPS
    RECIPE 1 – roasted vegetables / feta / yoghurt dressing in a wrap
    Ingredients
  • roasted veg: peppers / onions / courgettes, chopped into chunky pieces
  • feta cheese, cut into cubes
  • yoghurt dressing: natural yoghurt
  • salt / pepper
  • herbs / smoked paprika, or use other seasonings from the store cupboard
  • Method
  • chop veg, season, place in tray and roast in the oven for 30 minutes
  • cube or crumble up feta
  • heat the wrap up in a toaster or oven
  • mix yoghurt with seasonings
  • assemble the wrap with roasted vegetables and yoghurt dressing
  • Enjoy for a healthy lunch!

    RECIPE 2 – chicken / lettuce / spicy yoghurt dressing in a wrap
    Ingredients
  • chicken breasts, chopped small
  • iceberg lettuce, shredded small
  • garlic chopped
  • a little oil
  • natural yoghurt dressing as above, adding chilli flakes
  • Method
  • fry chicken with seasonings of your choice
  • assemble the wrap with spicy chicken, shredded iceberg lettuce and yoghurt dressing.
  • Enjoy for a healthy lunch!

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    HEALTH FACTS ON DRINKING WATER
    1- Keeping hydrated is crucial for our health and wellbeing. Many people don’t drink enough fluids every day.
    2- Do you know what percentage of water the body is made up of? It is a massive 60%!
    3- Do you know what percentage of the planet is covered by water? It is 71%!
    4- Do you know which organ water is essential for? The kidneys.
    5- All the cells in the body need water.
    6- You need water to lubricate your joints like oil in your car.
    7- Water delivers oxygen to the whole body.
    8- Our body uses water to create moisture our skin.
    9- Water regulates your body temperature.
    10- Water aids our digestion, helping us go to the toilet.
    11- Take a guess at how much water we need to drink daily: 11 cups for women / 15 cups for men (approximately 2 litres a day!)

    NOT ENOUGH WATER SYMPTOMS-
    1 - Tiredness and fatigue
    2- Constant hunger
    3- Constipation
    4- Dry skin
    5- Dark coloured urine. You are well hydrated when your urine looks like water.

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    SMOOTHIES AND FRUIT KABABS
    SMOOTHIES
    Add water or milk to mix / honey to taste
    1- BERRY BLAST - mixed berries / banana / spinach
    2- CARIBBEAN BLAST – mango / apple / banana / coconut
    3- MELON BLAST - banana / green, black grapes / strawberries / watermelon

    FRUIT KEBABS
    Ingredients
    Strawberries / bananas / grapes / oranges / watermelon
    Method
    1- Chop all fruit the same size and carefully push the fruit onto the sticks, making them look colourful and all the same size.
    Enjoy as a healthy snack!

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    HOMEMADE PIZZA
    Ingredients
    PIZZA BASE (quick version using scone mixture)
    1- half quantity 225g / 450g ( 1 lb ) self-raising flour
    2- half quantity 75g / 150g ( 5oz ) butter or healthy alternative
    3- half quantity 1 egg / x2 eggs, medium sized
    4- half quantity 2 tbsp / x4 tbsp milk
    5- mixed herbs / mustard powder (can be added to base to add more flavour)
    6- salt and pepper
    Half quantity makes four small pizzas!
    Method
    1- Add fat to flour and mix to a crumb with fingertips
    2- Add in herbs, salt and pepper
    3- Gradually add in egg and milk till mixture is blended to a soft dough

    PIZZA TOPPINGS (half quantity for four small pizzas)
    Ingredients
    1- x1 carton of passata - mix with herbs and seasonings
    2- salt and pepper / mixed herbs / chilli flakes
    3- black, green olives / sun dried tomatoes
    4- grated cheddar cheese / chopped up mozzarella
    5- sweetcorn / mushrooms / red onion / peppers
    Method
    1- Spread over about x2 tbsp of the tomato mixture onto the pizza base, then make your personal choice with your toppings
    2- The cheese is the last thing to go on the top
    3- Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes at 180 fan, depending on the size
    Enjoy with a salad!

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    SAUSAGE ROLLS / SAUSAGE PLAITS
    Electric oven temperature 180
    FILLING FOR SAUSAGE ROLLS OR PLAITS
    Ingredients
    1- 100g of sausage meat
    2- 1x teaspoon of dried sage
    3- onions (half onion per pack of sausage meat)
    4- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar and 1 tbsp brown sugar
    Variations to add - small amount cranberries / apricots / apple / salt / pepper / smoked paprika / mixed herbs / oregano / Worcestershire sauce

    PUFF PASTRY SHEETS OR TO ROLL OUT PASTRY
    Method
    1- Egg wash for top of pastry
    2- Mix sausage meat together with herbs and seasonings of your choice
    3- Roll out the pastry into a large rectangle
    4- Spoon sausage meet along the pastry in a line
    5- If you are doing sausage rolls, fold the pastry over and seal the edge with a fork. If doing plaits, cut down the pastry in a V shape down each side of the pastry, wrapping each shade over to form a plait
    6- Paint on an egg glaze all over the top of the pastry
    7- Cook in oven for 25-30 minutes.

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    CHARLIE’S CRUMBLE / SUMMER CRUMBLE
    Pre-heat oven to 180 fan. This will serve 4-5 portions.
    CRUMBLE TOPPING
    Ingredients
    1- frozen summer berries / tinned peaches / pears
    2- x2 tins of apples or any fruit (or your own apples cooked)
    3- 45g ( 1 and half oz ) margarine or butter
    4- 45g ( 1 and half oz ) sugar, soft brown
    5- 90g ( 3 and half oz ) self-raising flour
    Variations to add: portage oats / desiccated coconut / cinnamon
    Method
    1- Rub the margarine into the flour until it resembles breadcrumbs
    2- Be light-touched as you mix the two ingredients together
    3- Mix in the sugar and any other additional ingredients
    4- Sprinkle this over the top of the fruit and place in the oven
    5- Bake in the oven for approximately 25-30 minutes.
    Enjoy with ice cream or custard!