Fresh fruits are like super foods, impacting the health of eyes, heart, joints, bones, brain, immune system, and skin. Fruits are packed with vitamins and antioxidants. So, how do we sneak these healthy tidbits into the diets of picky eaters?
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SPECIFIC STRATEGY Frosty fruit sorbet is an easy, inexpensive, healthy, and YUMMY snack. And, it has an extra bonus: sorbet is so easy to make that anyone can pitch in when making the treat. If an individual with autism has an aversion to eating fruit, then emphasize the ice cream nature of this snack. Take a trip to the grocery store and have your buddy pick up a can of frozen lemonade concentrate. Then let him select two or three sacks of frozen fruits (strawberries, blueberries, mangos, peaches, blackberries, or melons). Remember – this is HIS choice, not yours.
When you get home, it is time to make the yummy, nutritious ice cream treat. Help only as much as needed. Some individuals with autism can make the sorbet with minimal help by following written instructions. If he is too young to work independently, or if he has very limited motor and cognitive skills, he will need lots of hands-on assistance. But, even then, remember to allow him to do as many steps in the recipe as independently as possible.
Here’s the recipe. You need a blender or food processor, a half-cup or one cup measuring cup, blunt school scissors or kitchen shears, and a rubber spatula. Pour about half a cup of the frozen lemonade concentrate in the blender. Cut open two or three of the bags of frozen fruit. Put about half a cup of fruit from each bag in the blender, blending after each addition. Use a rubber spatula to stir up, and blend again. The sorbet will be thick, like sherbet. If it becomes too thick to blend, then add a tiny bit of water or Sprite. If you want more sweetness, blend in a bit of sugar or Splenda. Spoon some of the frosty fruit sorbet in a small cup, add a spoon, and ENJOY!
NOTE TO LISTENERS AND READERS: I am Cathy Knoll, a board certified music therapist and long-time friend of many folks with autism. At FAQautism.com 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. www.FAQautism.com