Monday, February 27, 2012
aspie tip #1
...I know it may not apply to all of you out there, but in this house apple juice is just askin' for some hair-pulling frustration. (and being that I can fit all of my hair into a 6 year old's hair clip illustrates how precious each strand of hair I have left on my head is). When I had the fantastic "aha!" moment of using a juicer to hide many a resisted vegetable, I was met with a couple weeks of insane emotional madness. I couldn't figure out what the heck was going on, and had to look hard at what I had done differently in those two weeks to notice such a difference. Then it hit me....that big white piece of plastic on the counter was the culprit. (and an expensive one at that...and knowing me, I had already thrown out the packaging and receipt). Instead of getting just 1 apple here or there, he was getting at least 2 whole apples in just one glass of juice.
...I backed away, and the calmness returned. God know why I tried it again, but I did. And the madness returned. It took me back,to be quite honest, and part of me was shouting to myself, "are you kidding me? We are already eliminating the gluten, dairy, and soy. And now fruit too?"
After putsing around the computer a bit, I eventually learned about salicylates, which are chemicals that occur naturally in many plants, including many fruits vegetables, and herbs. They can be bothersome with a lot of kids on the spectrum, and it just so happens that we fall into that category too. great.
...After a few days of freaking out, I calmed down and took a step back. I will openly admit that I am not in the mood to eliminate more food, being that my son is at the age where it would just be too hard to take away more. If I could just pinpoint a couple of the big ones, then I wouldn't worry so much about the others.
...So, where did we end up? Well, we have eliminated apple juice (although he can handle a juice box every now and then..which allows him to at least join in a bit more with others at school parties), and he is fine eating golden delicious apples. He doesn't like fruit much anyway, so it was easy to eliminate many high salicylate foods and keep to pears, yellow apples, pomegranates, and apples. (which he only eats two of those anyway). We try to avoid as much as possible high salicylate fruits such as raisins, strawberries, apricots, blackberries, blueberries, cranberries, and oranges, while also limiting our known problematic apples. If you are interested in a complete list of fruits and veggies, you can find them here.
...Amidst all of the good changes we were seeing from the elimination of fruit, I also had to be realistic. There was no way I was going to be able to eliminate all of the high salicylate foods, as we would be left with nothing for him to eat. The fruit is the big culprit for us, and I am happy just sticking to that. Do I make adjustments when I can to substitute certain veggies when cooking? yes. but I don't freak out about it. And I also know that there are going to be times with friends where he will grab a piece of fruit on the no-no list, and we may have a couple of rough days to follow. It's hard enough to arrive at the party with your own stash of gluten/dairy free goodies, so allowing him that opportunity to have some of the things on the table is worth it.