I know that's a bizarre question in today's world. My 14 year old daughter has autism. She only eats a few foods, and recently she has lost a LOT of weight. Our doctor wants her to gain weight NOW. One thing she likes and eats with no problems is chocolate cake, so I've started making one for her every few days. I am keeping all the oil (using a mix) and using applesauce instead of water.
What other things can I add to make the cake either more fattening (sour cream? yogurt?) and/or nutritious? (baby food veggies, applesauce, etc...)???
If you have "recipes" that would be great. She won't eat it if it starts to taste too different than plain old chocolate, so I can't use too much sour cream or something like that. I mostly am not sure how much I can add to a dry mix, and in what proportions, before it wouldn't bake up right.
Thanks for your help.
Have you seen the cookbook that Jerry Seinfelds wife wrote? I can't remember the name of it, but basically it shows how to hid fruits and veggies in meals that kids like. It may not help with the weight, but could help with the nutrition part of it. I did see the book in the bargin section of Walden Books for $10. Sorry I can't be more help, but good luck.
By the way, what other foods will she eat?
I second the cake w/ the pureed veggies...that should make it extra moist too. Then use a buttercream with all butter. I use that and it tastes REALLY REALLY good...she might eat the whole cake. Maybe cream or half and half for the liquid instead of apple sauce. Maybe some extra cream or butter in the filling.
Although I can understand your doctor's concern, I'm a little bit surprised that s/he didn't have any more specific suggestions for you on how to do this.
I would be worried for your daughter's health if the only vehicle that she was consuming the calories by was chocolate cake. Surely that much sugar can't be good for her body...
There are many nutrition bars and shakes, etc., that wrestlers and body builders use when they want to 'bulk up' a little. I would talk to your doctor about these, as I feel they may be better alternatives than chocolate cake...they can be found at places like GNC and also I'm sure that if you inquire about them the store attendant could give you loads of info.
And if all else fails, McDonalds? Good luck.
I work in genetics and have had to deal with quite a few children with ASDs. I am a bit dissapointed that your daughter's doctor didn't give you more suggestions on how to increase the fat in her diet. Have you brought her to a nutritionist? If your daughter has an OT I would suggest speaking with them to see if there is a nutritionist in your area who has had experience with children with autism. If you have any other parents to talk to, they might give some helpful hints as well, seeing as weight loss is a common side affect of the medications. You are not alone honey, hang in there!
In the meantime have you thought of going to a GNC or something and trying a little protein powder in the cake? I wouldn't add too much because it might start to taste funky
Add a couple of egg yolks.
Agree with others above about trying to hide some veggies or fruit in the cake if possible. Also sour cream over yoghurt, full fat milks, butter. If you are basing the cake on a mix you can probably cram in a lot of extras before the cake fails. My son has sensory processing disorder (which is also very common in Autistic children) and he has a real problem with certain tastes and textures. It is almost impossible to get him to eat enough fruit and vegetables if served like I would to my daughter, instead I try to bake in some goodness here and there. I bake a banana flax seed muffin which he will have for breakfast which at least provides a reasonable amount of Omega 3 and fibre. I also give him Peanut Butter cookies with extra flax, and he will also eat carrot muffins provided the carrots are grated super finely.
Good luck, and as the others said above, probably a good idea to speak to nutritionist to get some good advice on how to increase the nutrition.
I'm not a doctor and this is just my opinion but i think it's healthier to increase your daughters calorie intake as apposed to fat intake.
Instead of packing her usual meals with more fat maybe you need to give her a smaller meal in between her usual meals or as some of the previous posters stated, maybe a protein bar or something like that.
Thanks for the suggestions. It's hard to explain her eating habits, but she actually eats quite healthy. She eats most fruits and quite a few vegetables. She doesn't eat candy or other sweets, except cake, which until recently was really only around for a treat. (Maybe 4 times per year, plus her birthday.) She eats chicken, but no other meats. (Especially not beef.)
She won't eat/drink any type of power bar or drink. I've talked to my husband about trying to get her to eat/drink Ensure or maybe Carnation Instant Breakfast but we don't think she'll do it. We're going to try though. She won't eat cheese or drink milk in any form, except when I "hide" it in something.
So she has a relatively healthy diet, for a teenager, except for the lack of dairy products/eggs and red meat. What she will eat, even though it's healthy (carrots, bananas, chicken) aren't fattening and don't pack a lot of calorie power. That's why I am trying to get her to eat some cake.
She's already been hospitalized for her eating disorder and we've been given guidance on how she *should* eat. Getting her to actually do it, however, is a whole 'nother ball of wax. Sorry if I sound defensive. It's just hard to explain what it's like. The fact is that she's lost over 15 pounds in the past 6 months and I have to get some weight on her, even if it's not the healthiest choices in the world for now. Concurrently with that, we WILL be working on improving her nutrition, too, but really I think her diet NEEDS more fat and milk and stuff right now.
Thanks again for the ideas. I think adding extra yolks is a good idea, as is the all-butter frosting.
I have two sons that are hypo-glycemic (burn calories FAST). In fact the baby, born at 9 lbs, 9.5 oz had his blood sugar drop so fast after delivery that he statred shaking. It was LA county, so I was promtly tested for cocaine addiction/ with drawal. (Nice, huh?). So, I feel your pain...
How does she feel about bacon or ham? Highest fat content meats. Boy, here now it Texas- BBQ is it----mmmmm- high fat and honey based sauces. I can get fatter just thinking about it....lol.
For the cake, I use:
1 chocolate cake mix
1 small box instant chocolate pudding mix
1/2 cup oil
1-1/4 cup water
1 cup mini chocolate chips.
Maybe use 6 egg yolks instead of 4 eggs, and sour cream and water instead of the water only. Mix buttercream with real butter and real whipping cream (I used to spike my sons' whole milk with 1/4 whipping cream to add calories- I know your kiddo won't drink milk, but I understand the "slipping in" of extra calories). Also, torte the cake in layers so she gets extra frosting.
What out Mom, 15 pounds on her will probably be 30 pounds on you (or it would be on me).
Sorry about all my spelling typos... <sigh>
I understand that her diet actually NEEDS more fat, but I would try to keep in mind which fats are healthier, and avoid trans fats for sure.
Back to the cake, use all the oil, and use an oil that is high in polyunsaturated fats, like safflower oil, add an extra egg to add both fat and protein, add sour cream for fat and calcium, maye a little ground nut meal if she's not allergic to add healthy fats and proteins.
For the icing, even better than all butter, what about adding cream cheese? Then you get fat, calcium, and protein, not just fat. Try adding just a little at a time if you're afraid she won't like the taste. It's not that noticeable to me. I make a chocolate cream cheese icing by first making a batch of stiff chocolate BC, then beat in an 8 oz block of cream cheese. That's very good. What about chocolate ganache? Dairy fat and calcium there, too, as well as antioxidants from the dark chocolate.
Does she like cheesecake or carrot cake? Those are high in fat, but also have some aded nutritional benefits such as calcium & protein, or vitamin A and fiber. Peanut butter's good, too.
Avocodos are high in healthy fats, if you could turn her onto guacamole, and sneak small amounts of pureed avocado into dressings, dips, etc.
you can puree carrots, they are sweet. add an extra egg to the mix and use buttermilk instead of water.
Hmmm, was the "eating disorder" related to her meds? I know that it is a very difficult balance in trying to control behavior and limit weight loss with these medications. Have you thought of getting a second opinion from a doctor to possibly readjust her meds?
Please don't get too discouraged, this is very NORMAL for children with ASDs.
Do you have other parents to talk to with children going through the same thing? If not, please email me ([email protected]) and let me know where you live, I can try to get you in touch with people who are going through the same thing as you. They might have some suggestions of what has worked for them.
I really feel for you, this is a really heart wrenching problem. My daughter worked for a program sponsered by Johns Hopkins and her job was to feed children like your daughter (only she worked with the group 0-9years) and to teach the parents how to get their kids to accept all types and textures of food. It was not easy, and most parents just couldn't do it after the first course of lessons. Have you thought of returning to the center or finding another center to help you to modify her behavior and accept more food, or maybe because she is a teenager, have her return to receive more therapy in eating.
Perhaps there may even be more information on successful techniques on line-given by centers like Kennedy-Krieger. My daughter was successful with all her kids, but when you try to implement this with your own kid, it can be a whole other story.
If she is in a special school program, maybe they can help with her eating at school
Just a thought.
sorry you are going through this, i'm sure you are very frustrated. at any rate, how about sneaking coconut oil/milk into her diet? i've actually done alot of research on it and the health benefits are amazing. i also used it to help my 5 yo gain weight when she was a tot. good luck and best wishes to you and your daughter : )
Further to the direction that cakesbyjen was going in...in that Jessica Seinfeld book there is a recipe for chocolate cupcakes that includes avocados. She swears that once it cools you cannot taste the avocado, a sentiment I've seen echoed here (and even in a thread yesterday) about avocados in treats like shakes and icing. The point being: avocados give you bonus fat, but it's healthy fat, and of course it's high in calories...but also high in nutritional value. As opposed to plain oil. Just a thought! I haven't tried that recipe yet btw but I did make the one where she adds garbanzo beans to choc chip cookies. I was totally afraid to eat one (I don't like the things) and couldn't believe they were really GOOD, like I wanted more and more! Perhaps the cake is the same way. Maybe you could fill it w/the avocado icing from the other thread. Also cream cheese icings as mentioned by cakesbyjen...or the dairy from ganache.
I realize as PP's already mentioned, your goal is not to have her sole nutritional input be from cake, but if you are going to try to boost her caloric intake w/cake it might as well be healthy calories. Good luck with your mission.