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Hello,

My son who is 8 years old and was diagnosed with ASD three years ago. He has come on in leaps and bounds from being a toddler he is constantly progressing. He has high functionality which is improving every year. However every now and again he seems to go through stages of things that i don't understand which is why i'm posting this post to see if anybody has experienced this themselfs or maybe it is just a part of growing up.

My son at the moment seems to be obsessed with food mainly sweet things. It started of with a choc bar here and there taking them eating them and hiding the evidence which is not necessary as he knows he can have what he wants if he asks for it. It then developed into eating and hiding evidence of whole packets of chocs or anything sweet in the house. I then made sure there was always yoghurts and fruit for him instead of the sweet stuff in the fridge, he would still hide the empty packets but still he would eat the whole packs of yogurts whether it was a six pack or a twelve pack.

To my fear he ate a full packet of 24 throat lozenges when there was nothing in the fridge for him and the next day he went on to eat a bag of brown sugar. So which started as innocent choc sneaker has now progressed onto something more serious which is making me very worried. When i ask him he tells me that he is not hungry and does not know why he does it, he also told me that he cannot stop doing it, my theory behind it is that he may now be in a routine which he cannot get himself out of. The crimes happen mostly in a morning before anybody wakes up, sometimes even setting his alarm so he can sneak downstairs before anybody wakes.

Please help a worried mum, even if its just to say i'm worried over nothing or any advice to help him get out of this habit before he hurts himself.

Thank You,

Tina.

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My son is not high functioning...he is PDD. BUt he goes on food binges too. We had to get a small mini frige and padlock all the sugar, cream, cheese sauce, or other items he can't seem to stop eating once he starts.

My son is overweight and needs to lose about 40 pounds.

Your son might not be able to control himself. Mine has gotten to the point where he understands if he uses too much of something, it gets taken away. He is also almost done with puberty, so maybe the cravings have reduced, making it easy for him to stop binging.

Abi (who is hfa) has a big problem with refined sugar. It makes her sick. It isn't unusual to crave stuff that is really horrible for you...like I crave bad carbs a lot and they pack on weight for me so fast it makes your head spin, can lead to diabetes, inflammation, etc. I have heard of other autistic kids with food issues and weird cravings. I think there was an autistic teen on some news story once and about the only thing he would eat is cheetos, so I guess it could be worse.

I really am not sure what to do about it, but maybe it will help knowing you aren't alone.

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I'm not sure if this is relevant, but sometimes I get stuck on certain foods. For instance, for three months straight (breakfast/lunch/dinner) I would eat nothing but Grilled cheese and chicken noodle soup. Right now I can drink nothing but Tropicana Lemonade (going on one month now). Ive always done this, get stuck on foods (and sometimes binge).

But I apologize, I have no clue if it's a routine thing, a sensory issue (all my foods are "sensory safe", in my head anyway), or what.

Twitch

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Is it possible to just not keep sweet stuff at home? If you need some chocolate every now and then, hide it in some place he doesn't have access to. Sure, eventually he has to learn to handle the responsibility of choosing what to eat, but right now he's only 8.

When I was a kid we almost never had ice-cream/chocolate/candy at home, simply because my parents never ate it. So I never developed that sugar "habit" a lot of kids have. 15 years later, I'm still not a big fan of sweet stuff except occasionally. I really do believe sugar is something you learn to like.

Just speaking in general here... I'm sure the autistic part complicates it.

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The crimes happen mostly in a morning before anybody wakes up, sometimes even setting his alarm so he can sneak downstairs before anybody wakes.

Please help a worried mum, even if its just to say i'm worried over nothing or any advice to help him get out of this habit before he hurts himself.

have you sat down and talked to him about it? he might have a really good reason and you just haven't figured it out. why is it so important to him he isn't caught?

if he is having sugar cravings that strongly, is he going through a growth spurt? is he on any meds at all? there is always a reason. it might be as simple as it's a fun game, or there might be something health related going on. do you have any blood sugar problems in your family?

for me, sneaking food was logical because it often WAS taken away.

i still prefer eating when no one else is around because the process of digestion is kinda gross and i don't want to see anyone else do it, and at his age he may have learned something that made him wary of eating with others lol.

abi

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i still prefer eating when no one else is around because the process of digestion is kinda gross and i don't want to see anyone else do it, and at his age he may have learned something that made him wary of eating with others lol.

abi

Lunch time at school:

Kid 1: "Whatcha eating?"

Kid 2: "Seafood."

K1: "Huh?"

K2: "See." *sticks tongue out* "Food!"

K1: "Ewwwwwww! That's GROSS!"

I wonder how many languages other than English lend themselves to that bad joke.

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I'm not sure if this is relevant, but sometimes I get stuck on certain foods. For instance, for three months straight (breakfast/lunch/dinner) I would eat nothing but Grilled cheese and chicken noodle soup. Right now I can drink nothing but Tropicana Lemonade (going on one month now). Ive always done this, get stuck on foods (and sometimes binge).

I do this too. My most recent thing is caramel corn cakes [sometimes I will sit and eat half the package] and Tropicana Fruitpunch.

Maybe there's something in the Tropicana.

Oh and roastbeef. I sort of get freaked out if my mom doesn't buy it. I think she is trying to wean me from it.

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There has to be something in the Tropicana. Because before my lemonade, I could only drink Tropicana apple juice. Weird.

Yeah, my parents try to wean me off of my foods too. It doesn't usually work. I can whine easily ;)

And I'm also with abifae, I prefer to eat alone. My own time, my own place, my own food. I rarely eat with the family, and I hate restaurants because I can't stand seeing other people eating. I can't even stand the thought of me eating. But that's probably just me...

It could be just his way of getting his sugar fix. Some kids crave a certain type of food, almost religiously.

Twitch

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I'm just going to see what I can say from my own experiences here -- my autie food issues had more to do with texture than they had to do with taste. However, I can say with confidence that I have severe nightly sugar cravings with Remeron.

The idea I use is to substitute in progression healthier foods that are still sweet. There are plenty out there (fruits being the #1). I like to make a trail mix of nothing but walnuts and sweetened, dried cranberries. Not only are the omega-3 fats in walnuts supposed to be good for the brain, but the mix is also high in protein and fiber. Also, it's extremely filling... trust me, he won't get through much of it before he becomes full.

There are also some chocolate snacks that are fairly low in fat and moderate in sugar... try dipping the tops of caramel corn/rice cakes in melted chocolate, and chill in the fridge until the chocolate re-solidifies. Hell, dip anything that's sweet but light in melted chocolate, it'll all taste good. Just make sure your son isn't nearby while doing this, you'll run out of melted chocolate more quickly than anticipated.

Speaking of chocolate, bittersweet chocolate (>56% cocoa mass) is fairly low in sugar, and alarmingly high in fiber. I'm not sure why this is. It's an acquired taste for children (I always had preferences for bitter and sour foods, for some reason. Might explain my disposition today).

There are also a lot of "savory" dishes, namely with chicken or pork, that rely on very sweet (fruity) sauces. Not sure if that'd be his cup of tea, so to speak.

Lastly, I want to mention something else, a bit of advice... and take this more as advice from my mother, who raised an Aspie/HFA child (me). Try and allow your son to satisfy his cravings (also using the methods above) on a regular basis. Don't shove food that he doesn't like down his throat... introduce those foods very slowly, and try to integrate them into the same meal as his craved food. My mother quite frankly didn't give a damn about what I preferred to eat, and she'd go every day nearly having to shove food down my throat with a wooden spoon.

Strangely, I eventually acquired (over the next 10-15 years!) tastes for the same foods I used to have to gag down. Also, I've acquired the opinion that my mother is a total idiot. (I could say worse.)

So yes, I'd suggest that you first try to find healthier ways to satisfy your son's cravings, and then introduce new foods to him that he is willing to try.

[EDIT: When I made trail mix yesterday, I should have remembered that I'm visiting my parents at the moment. Mom ate all of it. ;) ]

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my dad did me a huge favor by requiring me to taste everything and to get something i'd never had before at each major grocery outing ;) i'm sure it's the only reason i'm as open about food as i am. he never did force us to finish if we hated it, but we had to taste.

i'm now imagining everything i can dip into chocolate and refrigerate. thanks, herrfous :/ lol.

abi

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Thanks to you all for your reply.

I have tried to talk to him several times I have even made a joke of it but he seems to not understand why he does it himself maybe as he gets older he may start to understand. I Have stopped buying sweet food unless he as a good sticker from school, I am buying more fruit I will try the choc dipping with some fruit he may find that interesting. The problem of me not buying in sweets sent him to start eating other things such as the sugar.

I will always make him something to eat if he is hungry which does not interest him because its not sweet and he is not hiding.

It's also nice to know that I am not alone, i will try anything to make sure he does not eat something that will hurt him.

Tina

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Tina^2--

I'm glad you found our suggestions helpful. Oh yeah... try cutting a banana in half (cross-wise, the easy way), and dunk half of each piece in chocolate. Those are good. And serve it with a small scoop of Edy's (Dreyer's in some necks of the woods) "slow-churned" ice cream, which has less than 30% fat calories (advertised as half the fat of regular Edy's/Dreyer's ice creams). Dessert is great in small portions/overall moderation, and I use this policy to prevent myself from inflating like the Michelin Man.

i'm now imagining everything i can dip into chocolate and refrigerate. thanks, herrfous :/ lol.

You may wish to try WZ's suggestion and dip bitter children in chocolate. However, this is against the law in many jurisdictions, unless the child wants to be dunked in chocolate. Nonetheless, it is highly inadvisable. Furthermore, the act of eating children is right out in virtually all of the world, despite how often we find it tempting.

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