Stealth Health: Blueberries

“My son refuses to eat fruits and vegetables,” said parent of a young man who has been coming to music therapy for about 8 years. He is a pre-teen diagnosed with autism. My friend is non-verbal and has limited cognitive abilities. His mom said, “He doesn’t like to try new foods or new textures in foods, but I’m concerned about his overall health. I’m looking for ideas to add fruits and veggies in his diet.”

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SOME IDEAS. There are some fun ways to sneak fruits into foods he already eats. Pick fruits that make a big impact so you can get maximum benefit for your efforts. For example, blueberries are literally bursting with nutrients and flavor. In addition to being antioxidant powerhouses, blueberries impact visual health, gastrointestinal health, and neurological health. So, how do you get your sweet son to eat those healthy little blue dots? Try these tricks: (1)You could stir frozen blueberries into pancake mix, (2) Another idea is to make a milkshake for a special treat by swirling frozen blueberries in a blender with a bit of ice cream and skim milk, (3) You might try making a yummy frosty breakfast drink by blending together orange juice, frozen blueberries, and frozen strawberries, (4) You can stir dried blueberries into cereal, oatmeal, or trail mix. You can even stir dried blueberries in the batter for chocolate chip cookies. If a person has issues with lactose and/or gluten intolerance or is diagnosed with diabetes, then some of these suggestions would need modification. But the basic strategy is to do whatever you can to sneak healthy foods into the daily diet. You can make a positive impact on their health by thinking creatively.

NOTE TO LISTENERS AND READERS: I am Cathy Knoll, a board certified music therapist and long-time friend of many folks with autism. At we are committed to providing free, practical, everyday tips for making life better for people with autism. You can click on a button to send me an email with your thoughts or challenging situations or innovative solutions. Check out our website for a wealth of ideas and a glimpse into the world of autism.

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