Navigating Nutrition for child with ASD

Recipe Ideas for Your Picky Eater child with ASD while on vacation

Navigating Nutrition on Vacation: Recipe Ideas for Packing Food for Your Picky Eater child with ASD

Every parent looks forward to going on a vacation. Since it is an opportunity to escape the daily routine and unwind. Taking a break from work or other responsibilities allows parents to recharge, reduce stress levels, and promote overall well-being.

If you are looking for recipe ideas to carry on vacation, then this article is for you, it has 20 recipe ideas for child with ASD who are picky eaters.

Here are some snack recipe ideas that may appeal to picky eaters:
  1. Fruit Sushi: Spread a thin layer of nut butter on a tortilla, place slices of their favourite fruits like bananas, strawberries, or kiwi, and roll it up tightly. Slice into bite-sized pieces like sushi rolls.

  1. Crispy Veggie Chips: Thinly slice vegetables such as zucchini, sweet potatoes, or kale. Toss them in olive oil, sprinkle with a little salt, and bake until crispy. They can enjoy these crunchy snacks on the go.

  1. Mini Pancake Bites: Make mini gluten-free pancakes using your favourite recipe. Add in blueberries, chocolate chips, or shredded apples for extra flavour. Serve them with a small container of dates syrup for dipping.

  1. Chicken cutlet and vegan Cheese Roll-Ups: Spread vegan cheese on slices of chicken, then place a thin slice of cheese on top. Roll them up tightly and secure them with a toothpick. They can enjoy these protein-packed snacks wherever they go.

  1. Frozen Yogurt Bites: Spoon dollops of their favourite yoghurt onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Add small fruit pieces or granola on top and freeze until firm. These bite-sized treats are refreshing and easy to eat.

  1. Peanut Butter Energy Balls: Mix peanut butter, oats, honey, and a handful of mini chocolate chips or dried fruit. Roll the mixture into small balls and refrigerate until firm. They make a great energy-boosting snack during the vacation.

  1. Mini Bagel Pizzas: Slice mini bagels in half and top them with tomato sauce, cheese, and their favourite toppings like sliced olives or mushrooms. Bake until the cheese is melted and bubbly. These mini pizzas are perfect for quick bites.

  1. Cucumber Sandwiches: Slice cucumbers into rounds and spread a layer of hummus on each slice. Top with chicken slices and assemble them like mini sandwiches. They’re refreshing and packed with flavour.

  1. Popcorn Trail Mix: Mix air-popped popcorn with their favourite dry cereals, pretzels, and a handful of dried fruit or mini marshmallows. Portion them into small bags for a tasty and portable snack option.

  1. Mini Waffle Sandwiches: Toast mini gluten-free waffles and spread a layer of nut butter in between two waffles. Add a slice of banana or strawberry for extra sweetness. These mini gluten-free sandwiches are a fun twist on classic waffles.

Some Indian snack recipe ideas for picky eaters
  1. Vegetable Cutlets: Boil and mash potatoes, and mix them with finely chopped vegetables like carrots, peas, and beans. Add breadcrumbs, ginger-garlic paste, and spices like cumin, coriander, and garam masala. Shape into patties and shallow fry until golden brown.

  1. Paneer Tikka: If your child is not on a casein-free diet, then this is a good option Marinate cube of paneer (Indian cottage cheese) in a mixture of yoghurt, ginger-garlic paste, turmeric, cumin, and coriander powder. Thread the paneer onto skewers with bell peppers and onions. Grill or bake until the paneer is lightly charred.

  1. Masala Puffed Rice: In a pan, heat some oil and add mustard seeds, curry leaves, peanuts, and roasted chana dal (split chickpeas). Once they crackle and turn golden, add puffed rice and mix well. Season with salt, turmeric, chilli powder, and a squeeze of lemon juice.

  1. Aloo Tikki (Potato Patties): Boil and mash potatoes and mix them with chopped onions, green chillies, coriander leaves, and spices like cumin, coriander, and chaat masala. Shape into patties and shallow fry until crispy. Serve with chutney or ketchup.

  1. Dahi Vada: Soak urad dal (black lentils) and grind into a smooth batter. Make small round balls and deep fry them until golden. Soak the fried vadas in water for a few minutes, then squeeze out the water and place them in beaten yoghurt. Sprinkle with roasted cumin powder, red chilli powder, and tamarind chutney.

  1. Bread Pakora: Take bread slices and spread a mixture of mashed potatoes seasoned with spices like red chilli powder, garam masala, and chaat masala. Dip the stuffed bread slices in a batter made of besan (gram flour), salt, and spices. Deep fry until golden and crispy.

  1. Moong Dal Chilla: Blend soaked and drained moong dal (split green gram) into a smooth batter. Add chopped onions, green chillies, ginger, and coriander leaves to the batter. Pour a ladleful of batter into a hot pan and cook until golden brown on both sides. Serve with chutney or yoghurt.

  1. Mini Samosas: Make a filling with boiled and mashed potatoes, peas, and spices like cumin, coriander, and garam masala. Cut ready-made samosa pastry sheets into small squares, place a spoonful of filling in each, and fold them into triangles. Deep fry until golden and crisp.

  1. Chana Chaat: Rinse and drain boiled chickpeas (chana) and mix them with chopped onions, tomatoes, cucumbers, green chillies, and coriander leaves. Season with chaat masala, lemon juice, and a sprinkle of black salt for a tangy and spicy snack.

  1. Idli Fries: Cut leftover idlis into finger-sized strips. Heat oil in a pan and shallow fry the idli strips until crispy and golden. Serve with coconut chutney or tomato ketchup.

Feel free to adjust the spice levels and flavours according to your picky eater’s preferences. These Indian snack recipes are a great way to introduce them to different flavours while still offering familiar elements.

Remember to take into account any specific dietary restrictions or allergies your picky eater may have when preparing these snacks. Feel free to modify the recipes based on their preferences and gradually introduce new flavours and ingredients to expand their palate. Keep in mind that every child with ASD is unique, and their eating preferences and challenges may vary. If you need additional guidance specific to your child’s needs, it’s important to consult with professionals such as dietitians or therapists who specialize child in ASD.

Intervention for a child with Autism or ASD should focus on his /her core characteristic as well as his / her individual needs. Parents should be a part of the intervention journey with their child. This article delineates what a parent can expect and do during the intervention process and therapy session for a child with ASD.

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Suhana Shriyan
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