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Jean Shaw© -
My son has autism and like many autistic individuals his diet had been a major issue.
It is getting better though.
Until he developed autism after his MMR vaccine my son would eat anything. He was a delight to feed.
However, things changed and for years he literally lived on Hoola Hoops. They are small round potato rings with very little nutritional value what so ever.
They come in packs and are ideal for transportation as they don't crush like packets of crisps. I should know as I have often carried suitcases full of them when we have travelled. The only consolation for that is they are light!
Hoola Hoops are convenience foods and ideal to put as an extra in a lunch box. They are better than crisps because they contain less salt, colourings and flavourings than most brands and now, according to the packet, contain 55% less saturated fat than they did in 2006!
Since they were the only things my son would eat he used to take four packets to school with him every day. As desert he would have a packet of Polos. These are round mints with holes in them.
Notice the similarities? Clue -
He would eat the same at home, so his staple diet was Hoola Hoops and Polos washed down with fruit juice, never water. We gave him various vitamins and minerals to supplement .
Not any more!
Over the years we have tried all sorts of things with him but by far the most important intervention was to de-
I am so grateful to John Montagu.
I'm not sure if you realised but it's 245 years since the sandwich was first conceived, and it's thanks to good old John who was the 4th Earl of Sandwich, hence the name.
John was a bit of a gambler and the sandwich was developed in order to allow him to eat his meal whilst still holding his cards. He requested his servants to place cooked meats between two slices of bread so things haven't changed much since 1762 have they?
Of course in Victorian times people used to cut off the crusts, at least high society did. The poorer working class were just glad of the crusts and that is where the expression "I'd be grateful for the crusts" originates.
I wonder whether my autistic son has ideas of grandeur as he won't eat the crusts either which is really strange as he will eat crusty rolls and baguettes. What do you think? Have I given birth to an aspiring aristocrat?
The idea of the perfect sandwich differs for everyone and certainly in Western life they are an everyday feature. As a snack their popularity is only matched by crisps.
Apparently chicken sandwiches come top of the list with the British and that is certainly one of my son's favourites. He also likes ham, pork and beef so he's a bit like John Montagu really.
However, unlike the late Earl he insists on taking the meat out and eating that first before eating the bread. He examines every bit before putting it in his mouth and this appears to be quite a common trait for people with autism.
It has been explained to me that it is because autistics do not like different textures in their mouths at the same time. That would explain why my son will always eat his things separately and won't eat things like fruit buns.
Sausages are also a nightmare because he will eat the outer skin and then examine every single bit of the inside before he'll eat them although I suspect that has more to do with the fact at some stage he may well have experienced a bit of gristle in his mouth and is playing safe!
He also squeezes chips before he'll eat them. That's fries to my friends across the water and I suspect that's also because occasionally potatoes can be a bit hard in places. Who knows?
Anyway, thanks to John Montagu and probiotics my autistic son has a much better
diet, so long live the sandwich, that's what I say!
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