Is it wrong for a parent to give their child on the spectrum the same fast food every single day?

  1. If it's the kind of situation where the kid will only eat a certain food or nothing at all then making sure the kid is fed is the priority.

  2. My mother severely malnourished me doing this. Her excuse was “I cant cook and Im too busy". She didnt even have a fucking job, just lived off my step dads paychecks and fed me mcdonalds and veggie hot dogs almost every day. I wasn't growing like the other kids so she took me into a doc and he said I needed growth hormones. So they hooked me up to tubes and IVs and pumped me full of god knows what. Moved in with my dad at around 9, she dropped me off to do... whatever... with her life. Took several years of dad busting his ass to send me to doctors and therapists to help get me healthy and happy. I still only weighed 114pds and was about 5'2" at the end of my sophomore year, then summer hit, I randomly started eating everything in the kitchen and my mom (stepmom, now my real mom) taught me to cook, and in 6 months I jumped to 170pd and hit 5'8" all while eating a shit load a day and occasionally cooking for the family. It was a very painful 6 months... I still remember the feeling, I was always so hungry it hurt, spent all my work money on food, and my fucking bones and joints screamed at night. Thing is where most guys stop growing at about 21, my bones fused early at around 17. Cant complain, honestly Im a hair shy of 5'9" now, solid build (I did a lot of sports and even though I havent exercised or eaten right in the past few years, my muscles are still decently toned, lucky with my genes I guess). Despite growing up most of my life being shorter, I eventually caught up, no thanks to my awful mother.

  3. My friend who is autistic is a very picky eater, so I’ve seen it first hand that there are some foods he just won’t eat

  4. It is not okay in that scenario either. Thay enables bad behavior. A hungry kid will eat, instincts the over at a point and that behavior shouldn't be fed (no pun intended).

  5. But with autistic kids it might be different and a bit more understandable from the parent pov because they literally might not be able to eat anything else. Just my two cents

  6. As a former picky eater and special needs kid, and current pre-k teacher, I can tell you the answer is that its not ideal, but if it's what you can get the kid to eat without a battle it may be worth it.

  7. as someone on the spectrum with very picky eating. it's wrong. I get it but try to find something else the kid can eat that isnt unhealthy. plus, eating the same day will always become dangerous at some point

  8. Right. Like as you get older and start making your own choices the responsibility starts falling on you to eat healthy balanced food even with your sensory issues. But for little kids it's the parents who have that responsibility. And it's hard for them to know what's really a no-no and when they're willing to at least try, but they really should try

  9. I really wish polls like this would add a “results” option so some of us can see the poll without ignorantly influencing it

  10. If it gets to a point where it's actively harming the child it's time to involve medical services. Ideally, a dietician, a child psychologist, and a pediatrician. A parent has the responsibility to look after their kid's health (including dietary) and obtain the necessary medical care in such a cases where it's compromised, or it constitutes neglect.

  11. I’m an adult on the spectrum and unless I’m out with friends or something I eat the same like six or eight things every day anyway. It’s a balanced diet though - this means I’m not eating my favourite things but I do get all my necessary nutrients in, in at least reasonably good food. If I could have my favourite food every day that would be younger-me’s dream ngl

  12. I was on the spectrum but undiagnosed growing up, and while my parents didn't get me fast food everyday, I only ever got chicken nuggets when I got fast food.

  13. I mean, that's fine. Just because you had one "safe meal" at a specific restaurant doesn't really mean anything about your general diet, and especially wouldn't CAUSE sensory issues with food later on.

  14. i put no because my sister is on the spectrum, and every day after school we get taco bell because it has become almost a "tradition." For dinner, we eat way healthier, and we make her her favorite foods, but after school taco bell is our thing that makes her (and me) happy.

  15. Bro just because I can go eat mcdonalds every day and then eat a salad afterwards does not make it healthy. I'm not going to stop you, because I can't, but I will tell you that that's a pretty terrible habit, on the spectrum or not.

  16. massively depends on why, and what food specifically. ARFID and sensory problems can be extremely difficult to manage, and as long as it’s approved by a doctor or nutritionist, it’s fine.

  17. Had to scroll down way too far to see someone acknowledge that it depends on the specific food. I understand that generally fast food is unhealthy but there are options out there that I'm sure would provide a balanced nutrition. Too many people here are lumping every single fast food into the unhealthy bucket.

  18. Depends on the food, make it as healthy as possible, they would often rather starve themselves than eat something they don’t like so if you can get them to eat healthy, that’s the best

  19. There are some resources out there with great ideas on how to very gradually introduce new food! I may be an adult already, but some of these tips have helped me with eating more varying food aswell.

  20. It might literally be the only thing the child will eat. Some people have extreme sensory difficulties, and can only tolerate certain foods that they are used to.

  21. That's terrible, poor kids will have a messed up life. Learn to cook ffs you have google it's all you need to make a basic dish that would be 100% healthier.

  22. You do not know what the parents might have already tried. Sometimes these kids only eat one dish and one dish only.

  23. I think what would need to happen is that the parent needs to find healthy alternatives that have the same texture the kid likes, and are consistent in both taste and texture. Spectrum or not, that’s a big reason kids don’t like fruits and veggies. One blueberry could be sweet, the next is sour. And the texture could be less than desirable for lots of kids. Freeze dried fruits are a great replacement!

  24. a lot of parents live in extreme poverty, and they can't eat anything but fast food or they might have to live in the streets. obviously if a parent has money they should try to cook food at home that fits the autistic child's needs, but not every parent can do that

  25. It depends. Have you tried introducing other, healthier foods? Is the ONLY thing they will eat a mcchicken or whatever? As long as they really tried to find better options and the kid refuses, it’s the best they can do. The choice is starving your kid or feeding them garbage. It’s better they’re fed than starved. Not all kids will eat eventually if they get hungry. They’ll starve until there’s health problems. And that’s bad for them. And forcing food down their throats that they don’t like is a great way to make their food aversions much much MUCH worse.

  26. If they tried out healthier options and none works, then no, they have no choice. But if their motivation being that it is the easiest solution, then it is wrong.

  27. Depends, some kids will only want to eat the same thing every day, but if that's not the case then it's just lazy and neglectful on the parents' part. Or they are poor and can't afford anything else, which isn't their fault but it's just a sad situation to be in.

  28. It really depends. If the kids is underweight or has shown that they wont eat other things no matter how hungry they are, the priority is to make sure they eat. For some kids, the parents do not have a choice if they want to keep their kids alive

  29. Yes! It is on the parents to make sure their kid is healthy. If the choice is let them eat fast food or they won’t eat anything, eating fast food is definitely the healthier option! And then you can work together to slowly introduce more variety.

  30. There are resources out there on how to introduce kids with a very narrow diet to new and healthier things (like taking small steps and only changing one aspect per new food, etc). Just because your kid would prefer to eat only one specific unhealthy meal all the time doesn’t mean you should allow that. On the other hand, don’t brutally force your kids to eat things they don’t like, work with them to figure out what they like and don’t like (and why!) and explain what is important in a diet, etc.

  31. I’m not sure what being on the spectrum has to do with it. Eating fast food every day is not healthy

  32. It’s wrong for a parent to give any child any fast food every single day, that’s just a fast track to childhood obesity, and a lifetime of health problems

  33. Hard question. I want to say yes it’s wrong but my cousin is on the spectrum and he only eats certain foods nonstop. It seems just about impossible to get him to eat a balanced diet. The parent should probably find healthier alternatives to fast food, especially because once the child gets used to that routine it’ll be very hard to change.

  34. First of all, you don't know what they feed them for their other meals so you don't know what their nutrition intake is, period.

  35. absolute facts. eating frozen chicken nuggets is the same as eating McDonald’s chicken nuggets, but nobody’s ready for that conversation.

  36. Having fast food more than once a week is extremely unhealthy, period. And yes, that includes fast food that's frozen and processed foods in general as well. That's why you're not supposed to eat those every day either.

  37. That's neglect. Even if the child's really against eating anything else, you have to find a way to get them to eat real food.

  38. This will most likely lead to some unhealthy eating behaviors later in this child’s life. Though it can be difficult to get a child (especially on the spectrum) to eat, giving in to the child does not better their health. Especially considering that this is fast food, I can only imagine the nutrition based health issues this could lead to

  39. I don’t think being in the spectrum has anything to do with it, it’d be an unhealthy choice for any person or child.

  40. I think they are including it because many people on the autism spectrum prefer to eat the same thing over and over again, more so than neurotypical children

  41. It’s wrong to do this for anyone. Humans need variety in their diet to get all their nutrients. It’s one thing to not have enough nutrients and then it’ another to keep giving them excess of a bad nutrient like fat and salt.

  42. They like repetition and often do eat the same meals because they feel comfortable doing so. Fast food is one thing, but the same food is okay

  43. Yes, very much! If your child has the need to always eat the same thing, then help them figuring out a balanced diet they vibe with, Imo.

  44. Even if the kid is very picky (like me) It’s still important that they get necessary nutrients like make a home made meal they like and sneak the nutrients in there (like chicken-veggie nuggets)

  45. Sensory issues or a phobia for change which are common with people on the spectrum may make it more justified.

  46. I'd say its tough. yes its bad for the child's health, but fast food is generally easy to buy cheaply, and for people where money is scarce, it can be much easier than buying $100s of dollars of groceries

  47. Some people on the spectrum physically can't eat certain foods (this can be for a variety of reasons). In extreme cases this can result in just eating one or two foods for every meal.

  48. The same food everyday for like one meal is probably fine. The same fast food everyday is... Depends on what it is, but not great most likely.

  49. You should try and find another, healthier alternative but if the kid will only eat that then it’s alright. I wasn’t as much of a picky eater as my cousin (both on the spectrum) is and he will either starve or eat Nutella on bread. We try to offer him healthier foods, but its not always avoidable.

  50. A lack of nutrition on will make any mental issue worse. Autism causes greater oxidative stress in the brain and therefore you require more antioxidants than normal, sulforaphane found in foods in the Brassica family, is the most potent antioxidant, inositol is also good, it’s a compound used to build and repair tissue and lowers insulin, it’s also shown to help, it’s found in plants that aren’t commonly in our diet but can be bought outline

  51. Well, it depends. If the child is at the point of eating nothing but, like, McNuggets because they literally won’t eat anything else- then the parent kind of doesn’t have a choice. It’s either Fast Food and Disapproving looks or a meltdown from their autistic child.

  52. Are you a concerned parent of an autistic child? I don’t think it’s your place to judge a parent doing their best if that’s the purpose of the poll. Mealtimes can be really difficult with some children on the spectrum, it’s not something you’d know a lot about without the lived experience.

  53. I'm 22 and diagnosed with autism last summer (but I had symptoms since I was 4 because my dad was convinced it wasn't autism).

  54. ideally, fast food is the last option for what you want to feed a kid but at the same time, for some people it might be between that or their kid not eating. i voted no because without knowing the circumstances, i would default to the benefit of the doubt

  55. I think it would depend on the specific item(s). Eating something like Chipotle every day can be considered healthy in my book. But a Quarter Pounder with fries every day can be questionable, depending on what else is being consumed that day.

  56. It doesn't matter if a child is autistic, they should be taught to eat all there vegetables even if they don't like it from as soon as they can eat proper food. I have autism, we barley have take away (except tonight, we having pizza Tonight) and I was taught to eat all my vegetables, and I have to anyway because of I refuse to eat them my lil bro and sis will copy me so I gotta eat them so they eat them, and Im always hungry anyway so I eat it if I don't like it.

  57. At first I read that as "same food every single day" for some reason I totally glossed over "fast food" so I want to change my answer lol

  58. I do understand the pain and feeling like you're stuck and don't have any other option, I really do, but even if that's understandable in some situations it's still wrong. Kids need a proper diet. It's a hard road to find something that they will like and that's good for them, but it is absolutely necessary

  59. It depends on which extent this is true. If their options are their kid eating fast food or nothing at all, then the fast food is fine. But it should be a priority for the parent to try to get their kid to eat healthier foods.

  60. My mom brought me to burger King like everyday for a year after my dad died, I ballooned up an was like 200lbs by the time I got into middle school. And then 250 by high school since I'm down to 170, but im still kinda pissed about it.

  61. I’m surprised at how many people said no… As someone who has extensive experience working and living with people with disabilities, the answer is 100% a yes. There’s not even room for debate. Disabled people didn’t just come into existence at the same time as McDonalds, there are other options. People with autism may very well have severe food sensitivities and if being underweight is a serious issue, then fast food could be a short term solution but doing this every day (long term) is child abuse.

  62. As long as they get proper exercise and balance their fast food meals with healthier meals it's fine I can normally eat as much as I want and not gain weight and even when I do it all goes to my butt and thighs so it's a win win situation, so make sure to know your child's metabolism and general physical activity before making this choice

  63. I'm on the spectrum and I'm known for being extremely picky about my food and I'd have to say yes. Sometimes you need to do things you don't want to do because it's good for you. I may not have understood that as a kid but I've certainly been greatful for that lesson. It's the reason I get my needles, it's the reason I take my medication and it's the reason I eat some healthy items that I cannot stand.

  64. i'm on the spectrum and when i was younger our family was really poor and i didn't have a choice but to eat what was available even though i "hated" it. my situation was somewhat different but i like to think that didn't scar me in any but rather taught me about real life issues.

  65. I dont see why being on the spectrum has anything to do with it. No one should eat the same exact thing everyday, especially if it’s fast food.

  66. Whoops I read it wrong and thought it said “is it ok for parents to give their child on the spectrum the same fast food every day” and clicked no smh

  67. My understanding is that some people on the spectrum are big fans of routine. Regardless of whether it's fast food or homecooked food, I'm not surprised to hear that they want the same food every day.

  68. It's wrong for ANY parent to give ANY child fast food every day tbh. They gonna grow up with weight problems and unfortunately that's the reality for many people. Some people are saying that kids refuse to eat certain food if on the spectrum, in that case I'd say try and get professional help because while it's difficult not to give in, it's still very bad for their health long term

  69. Because in some cases, a kid on the spectrum might literally prefer to starve themselves over not eating a specific food. My sister has done it once or twice, my parents eventually just had to get rid of the meal they'd made and make what she wanted rather than have her not eat anything

  70. I understand that some folks on the spectrum have foods that they refuse to eat and foods that they'll almost only eat, but I'd personally try to find something that didn't require eating out and wasn't as unhealthy if I could. Their comfort matters, but so does their health and our logistics.

  71. "On the spectrum"? It's still fast food, not healthy to give daily. Someone I know gives their child with ASD bananas and rice, and it works for them.

  72. It's wrong for a parent to give their child fast food every day, whether they're on the spectrum or not. Having said that, I now realize that I misread the question and clicked the wrong option, which explains my initial surprise at the results.

  73. It's more complicated than a yes or no answer. Is it wrong?Yes, but some people don't have the money for other kinds of food. And also, regardless of your child being on the spectrum, fast food everyday if you are able to afford something else is neglect.

  74. As somebody on the spectrum, this is straight up child abuse. Yes it’s unhealthy for anybody, obviously… but if my routine is disrupted I get (relatively) VERY stressed out. It’s also hard to change my routine or start a new one. And I’m so high functioning you might not even notice until you got to know me. So if somebody is very clearly on the spectrum, then building such an expensive and unhealthy routine for them is setting them up for a lifetime of stress and eating abuse.

  75. It's wrong to feed any child fast food everyday. However, It's better than letting your children starve. Fast food is very close to literal garbage.

  76. I can see why they would, but even the pickiest of eaters can learn to like other things. The thing is it can take a LONG time, and a lot of parents are lazy and don’t want to bother.

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