Sweet Girl enjoys little enough food due to tactile food issues that when she asks for something new I move heaven and earth to find it. I don’t care if she ends up liking it or not because it just means that she’s willing to try and taste something new. It doesn’t happen often, but for her to try a new taste and texture is a Big Deal even if it’s based on her anticipating how something might taste and feel.
Before shopping last night I asked her what she wanted in her school lunches this week and usually she shouts, “NOTHING! I HATE LUNCH! NO SNACK! GIVE ME YOGURT!” and my ears are blown out. I had no reason to expect anything different but I still have to ask. It’s our thing. It’s our routine.
Instead of the usual she asked for “stick mozzarella that won’t hurt my tummy.” It was a very well thought out statement and her eyes were pleading.
Now I had a mission. If Kraft can make shredded mozzarella and cheddar and Cabot can make cheddar blocks that cater to Lactose Intolerant people by making these products Lactose-Free, then I had hope that I could find a L-F string cheese. I checked every single brand in every single “style” of mozzarella. You’d be surprised how many string cheeses and stick cheeses there are out there.
There are a lot. I won’t enumerate them. You’re just going to have to trust me.
Despite all of the dozen or more string cheeses, I accomplished my mission with immense thanks to Polly-O who, I shouldn’t be surprised, is part of the Kraft Corporation. It’s a specific style, though, and it’s the ONLY ONE that’s Lactose Free. All of the others have lactose. The bag on this one actually says “0 grams of lactose” under nutrition information. All of the bags will say “enzyme” listed in their ingredients but unless it also says “0 grams of lactose” then it’s not actually Lactose Free.
This morning when it was time to make her lunch, SHE reminded ME about the new snack. She even helped me make her lunch and put it together. This never happens. Today she has her dream lunch: Cinnamon Swirl Bread, grasshopper pie yogurt, and string cheese. She had her favorite cereal for breakfast, which was a bit of a struggle but she ate it nonetheless, which was Almond Vanilla Special K. She loves the crunch. It’s a VERY crispy cereal and vanilla is one of her favorite things.
Of course the real test on this cheese and it’s flavor and texture is going to be the road test. It might look pretty and have all of the requirements to be able to give it to her… but it might taste too salty or it might have a texture that she can’t tolerate. It’s still a success in my book because she’s going to TRY it and that’s all I can ask. I realize that it’s a blessing that she’s trying it since so many children on the Autism Spectrum won’t ever, ever try new foods. This is a rarity, but it does happen and for that we’re blessed. Let’s just hope that she finds it a risk worth taking.
P.S. This image was located with her help. 🙂