Saturday, April 14, 2007

Touch, Smell and Lick

How do you choose which foods you want to eat and which you prefer not to even try? For me, appearance is key. I would be much less likely to eat blue-tinted mashed potatoes than creamy white ones with a square of melting butter in the center. A plate of separate servings of meat, starch and vegetables would be my choice over a brown casserole unless, of course, enticing aromas emanated from that casserole. Ashley’s technique, like many children with sensory impairments, is the ‘Touch, Smell and Lick’ technique.

Ashley’s favorite foods did not become favorites merely because I told her how delicious they were. She is a hard sell. Even if you can get her to try something new, and it initially passes the ‘Touch, Smell and Lick’ test, she still may have to slowly get used to it before it has a chance of becoming a favorite. Yesterday, a dill pickle spear was put in front of her. She surprised me by picking it up because cold, slimy things are usually discounted as inedible from the get-go. But, she did pick it up and didn’t seem repulsed. She then held it under her nose and smelled it while turning it over and over. Apparently it passed the smell test because she then licked it. Unfortunately, the pickle failed the lick test. It was immediately dropped to the floor, and Ashley signed ‘chew’ to the dog. (Fortunately, I was able to grab the pickle off the floor before the dog, who has a delicate digestive system, was able to get it).

Ashley spent 8 years in feeding therapy because when I first adopted her she wouldn’t eat anything by mouth. All her nutrition came via a G-tube in her stomach. She has come a long, long way as evidenced by the list of foods which have passed the Touch, Smell and Lick test:

Macaroni and cheese
Raw spinach
LaSuer baby peas
Grilled cheese sandwiches
Mashed potatoes from Ukrops
Chicken nuggets
Strawberry or cinnamon applesauce
Anything cheese
Scrambled eggs
Toast with butter
Yoplait vanilla yogurt
Chicken salad
Crackers and cheese
Any Little Debbie product
Cream of broccoli soup
Mozzarella cheese sticks with marinara sauce

At least there are a few vegetables and fruits on the list!!

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