I still go through a good part of every day looking forward to what I'm going to eat at my next meal. But Jack is different. Even as a baby, we noticed he wasn't especially interested in food. He loved his formula and would drink it greedily when he was hungry, but he was just never very interested in the finger foods other babies seemed to enjoy.
On his first birthday, he played enthusiastically with his cake. Had it all over his hands and face, but not a morsel went into his mouth. Just not interested. We used to have to do a floorshow to get him to eat at all. We'd have toys on the tray of his high chair and distract him with silly faces and funny noises, while trying to shovel organic baby food into his tiny mouth. This was moderately successful, but he never really showed much interest in feeding himself.
Jack has Autism (PDD-NOS), ADHD and Sensory Processing Disorder. His brain processes things differently than those of us who are "neurotypical." Things that smell or taste delicious to the rest of us, can have an unpleasant odor or taste to him. Textures can also be very disturbing to him. He cannot abide potatoes (my absolute favorite vegetable!) in any form: no french fries, no potato chips, no potatoes mashed, baked or fried.
Getting enough calories into him has always been a challenge. He never asks me, "What's for dinner?" He doesn't open the refrigerator looking for a snack. He never begs me for something to eat because he's "starving." I'm not even sure he realizes that he's hungry at all. Sometimes I forget to give him lunch and realize it's 5:00 o'clock and he hasn't eaten since breakfast. Doesn't take after his Mommy at all!
Jack is much more than just a picky eater. It's like the part of his brain that relishes eating is just not there. I'll ask him, "What would you like for lunch?"
"I don't know," he'll say.
"Are you hungry?"
And when he does eat, it's only enough to keep him going. He rarely, if ever, cleans his plate or asks for seconds. Who knew that feeding one skinny eleven year old boy could be such a challenge? How could anyone think of eating as a chore, rather than as one of life's greatest pleasures? Whoever heard of such a thing?