According to our lovely (suspected) #ASD girl, Jelly is evil. It should not be allowed to exist and must never, under any circumstances, appear in the house. So, birthday parties and international trifle conventions are quite tricky but we manage.
As well as jelly being evil, jelly beans, jelly sweets, jelly multivitamins, anything with a texture closely related to jelly is just as villainous (and should apparently be banned from supermarkets). Whilst we are on the foods that are hated, pineapple and melon feature pretty highly as they too have a ‘nasty, horrid, throat-closing’ texture which will not be tolerated. Fizzy drinks and crisps are the nefarious newbies that are also refused.
So, what great, healthy taste our little lovely has – she loves the crunch of carrots and peppers but not the ‘bizarre, wet’ cucumber or the ‘vomit’ tomato. A fillet steak is fine (medium rare) but cheese, well that is a particularly contentious food; cream cheese is fine, mozzarella is tolerated, mild cheddar is passable but, anything that can be smelt from a distance of more than 20cm is an absolute no-no (so much so that we kept the Christmas cheese out in the shed).
Despite all these quirks, she has a brilliant appetite, wide repertoire of food and a love of trying new things (as long as she can eat the individual elements on a plate one at a time). Baking and cooking are a real passion and she has taken to her recently started Gluten Free #GF diet with aplomb. But food does have its pitfalls – it’s a big comfort blanket and she craves sweet things which we do our best to monitor (much to her annoyance).
I think one of the most remarkable things is her heightened sense of taste (and smell), it really is quite extraordinary. From a very young age, if I made stew or soup, she could identify every single ingredient in there from the twist of pepper to the leftover bit of parsnip I blitzed in there. It must be like a party going on in her synapses – she must experience taste to a much higher level than the rest of us. If such a simple thing as eating food sends her senses in to overdrive, no wonder her mind is always buzzing…
So, jelly may well be evil but as long as she loves her fruit and veg, I’m fine with that.