Chef Lyn’s Dinner Cooking

Thank you, Lynne, AwesomismMom for this honor and the opportunity to be a guest blogger/writer for your wonderful site. Our community of people are important family and I am happy to be able to share my experiences both as a Personal Chef and mother of an autistic child.

Chef Lynn < The Personable Chef, talks about Dinner time and feeding our autistic kids/adults

 

Creating dinner each night takes planning and thought. Each person has their own likes and dislikes for sure. When you add an autistic/adhd child/adult into the mix you may be finding yourself becoming the short order cook you never wanted to be.

My younger daughter is almost 8 and was diagnosed with autism at age 2.( I don’t usually use the term higher functioning but that shares her story a bit)

From the beginning there were sensory eating concerns. As much as I could, I gave her various textures/colors and types of food so that she wouldn’t limit the already limited diet anymore.

At this young age she preferred smooth and sweet things. yogurt, sometimes hummus, juicer fruits those kinds of things. Getting enough protein was always the challenge. As she ages what her food looks like and smells like are very important to her.

“Its yucky or I hate it” is the famous phrase here even when she hasn’t tried something, (we hear this daily.)

Beyond my family…….

One of the biggest obstacles I have found over the years is the parent(s) (me included)

Many parents can be picky eaters and so what they don’t like they pass that off, the child(ren) decide that they won’t like it either.

And believe me when I say, even our body language about food teaches our kids how we feel about what we see and might be eating or not eating.

Typically, the biggest food obstacle is the food rut…. “My child(ren) young/adult won’t eat that, “

Did you ever try? Did you ever try again?

Eating the same thing each week too can become such a rut with the food becoming tired.

Now what…

Our taste buds are ever changing and reintroducing something may take some time but is usually worth the pay off.

We’re all guilty (me included) of staying with what we know works. It’s just easier and there are no challenges/meltdowns if we stay safe.

In order to expand their eating needs and foods we must stay diligent and teach them about what’s healthy eating and how to over come the challenges they may face.  All that we do for our autistic kids (therapies/ schooling, feeding, etc.) is a process. Life skills are of course helpful for life and very necessary.

What I know to be true, I’ve encouraged through many questions……

Having taught and cooked for autistic kids and their families I am asked frequently what can I do? Need help for getting them to eat something new.

My experience has been that all autistic kids, verbal, nonverbal with various functional limitations or otherwise will somehow communicate with us about food. We just need to watch/listen and deduce their wants/needs.

We know our kids of course…. Sometimes you need to go the extra mile and encourage otherwise. A healthier diet is but a trial and error situation away.

Here has been some of my suggestions

For the older more independent eater I usually suggest this (of course works with younger too) . If you eat “family style” put something you know they will like and chose on the table, this way they’ll have a success with choosing something when you want them to try something new. Praise them with what they chose and do encourage the new food. (example put the chicken nuggets you know they’ll eat if you’re going to introduce cooked carrots.) Do encourage a taste but don’t push if there’s hard push back. (keep re-introducing over a number of days)

When introducing a new vegetable offer it with no flavor added first (especially cooked) this way they get the flavor and texture without the added butter/seasoning or dip) Always add those later

Our OT told us in the beginning that at first, they may just have to see the new food. From there touch it, lick and then taste. Do these steps slowly and without much fuss from you. Remember sensory kids are often easily put off. The goal here is to get them to try something new. Take your time, remain calm and be as noncritical about their choices as you can, you never want food to be a battle.

If your child/adult comes grocery shopping with you experience the store if you can. Let them touch and smell the foods. Talk about what’s there. If they show interest perhaps purchase the food in hopes they will try. (Helping to plan the weeks menu and grocery list is also a way to add some excitement and skills as you talk about what will be created each night. This allows for some food confidence building should they be interested. )

Farmers markets are a great way to taste various foods. If your child/adult can stand crowds and all that entails a visit can be a great way for them to be outdoors and experience what is local in food.

Bringing our kids in some capacity into the kitchen, if they are receptive is also a great way for them to touch the food, perhaps wash and tear it up. To cut and taste it. Teaching the life skills again and giving them self esteem goes a long way for sure.

Kids in the kitchen

The above page will give age appropriate kitchen tasks should you go this route and need some insight.

I will admit that right now we are pushing her to try more and strongly encouraging her to eat. Broccoli and cauliflower have been the vegetables. Now she will also eat a meatball.

Dinner here is a great conversation sit down time , where we share about our day and talk food. When you’re a chef there is ALAWYS talk about food.

Enjoy your food, encourage new things through time and there will be success I promise.

“I love what I do and its reflected in the delicious food I create”  Chef Lynn

A few recipes ….

once you’ve introduced cauliflower in the raw state this is a great way to eat them, like mashed potatoes but yummier

 Equipment

Microwave safe bowl, sharp knife, cutting board, colander, potato masher, towel or paper towel

California mashers:

Serves 4

Head of cauliflower washed, and florets cut off stem

Either steam, microwave or boil on top of stove

Butter or butter substitute 2tbsp (more is you desire)

2tbsps cream cheese

¼ cup shredded cheese of choice (mozzarella usually good for our kids as it has a milder flavor)

Salt to taste, pepper if you’d like

¼ cup Grated Parmesan cheese is delicious too but can be a much more pungent flavor, some kids like where others not so much. If you do use parmesan you won’t need the salt.

 

 

Putting it together…..

I like to micro-wave them

In microwave safe bowl add the flowerets with a tbsp or two of water, cover bowl with paper towel. Microwave on high in increments. Start with 3 minutes. You want the cauliflower to be really soft. May take up to 6 to 8 minutes (depends on your microwave and yes climate) (add more water if dry as you check)

Careful taking bowl out of microwave will be very hot…

Now you need a potato masher (older child/adult could do this)

While still hot to melt the cheese add the butter (butter substitute) and cheeses, mash until desired consistency.

Enjoy this delicious side dish

PS if there are leftovers can add an egg and mix-up, form into patties and in a pan sauté them on medium high heat turning once for about 8 to 10 minutes roughly. Another way to use the leftovers.

Breakfast for dinner

Everyone loves pancakes….

Equipment:

Bowl, wooden spoon, spatula, fork, measuring cups, frying pan or griddle, spoons , small bowl to melt butter

Serves 4

Ingredients

1 cup all-purpose flour, (spooned and leveled)

2 tablespoons sugar (when I use apple sauce or banana I don’t use)

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon salt

1 cup milk (I use unsweetened almond)

2 tablespoons unsalted butter(melted)

1 large egg

¼ tsp pure vanilla extract

Dash of cinnamon ( I use ¼ tsp or more as I like the flavor, could also use pumpkin spice)

Other variants … unsweetened apple sauce in place of egg,

2 tbsps. natural peanut or almond butter (good for protein)

mashed small banana

¼ cup oatmeal for texture

Instructions

Mix all dry ingredients together in a big bowl, add the egg or unsweetened apple sauce or banana, milk and melted butter

If using cinnamon or other flavoring add now before mixing.

Stir until combined.

Heat pan to medium high (turn down once first side is on pan/griddle)

…For each pancake, spoon 2 to 3 tablespoons of batter onto pan or skillet.

Cook until surface of pancakes has some bubbles approximately 1 to 2 minutes.

Flip carefully using spatula, and cook until browned on the underside,

1 to 2 minutes more.

Serve with your favorite topping

Enjoy

https://personablechef.wixsite.com/personableeats

http://www.thepersonablechef.com/index.html

https://shapingherworldwith-autism.weebly.com/

@shapingherworld (autism)

@personablechef

The Importance of Life’s History Lessons

I am so happy and proud to have Lloyd Morman as a guest Blogger today! He has been a guest blogger for Team Awesomism… Peyton’s company several times… He is a very sweet and caring person. Lloyd has autism, and is blind in one eye. I have such respect for him, as he never lets anything get him down! He is a true example of someone who is Turning Autism into Awesomism!

I hope you enjoy this very informative blog, as much as I do!

Also, please check out and follow Lloyd on social media!

Thanks,

Lynne

Here are links to his blogs he wrote on Team Awesomism:

  1. Hello Everyone!
  2. Where I learned to live with my eye problem
  3. The story behind the photo and ticket. A very helpful lesson to help in life.

If you’re on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Flipboard, please follow him.

 

History is very important. We can learn a great deal from history, but have you ever considered looking into your family history?

I learned from one of mother’s doctors that studying your family history can be very helpful in many ways! For example when you study your family tree can find out if any of your love ones have had medical issues that could be passed down & you found out that YOU could have a few medical issues similar to them & it can be prevented.
YES! These studies can help in so many ways, from preventing unhealthy habits to medical issues that you may not have known that was in your family, but others in your family knew but did NOT know or say anything. One of the biggest issues with family history is many are NOT aware of the importance of knowing or studying your family tree! Yes many may not NOT be ready or want to study their family tree or its history.
I am glad that my mother has looked into ours. We found out that many of our family members had eye problems, diabetes, anger, & depression issues. We looked into & found out that many of these issues can be treated today when then could NOT be treated in the past.
Medicine today has changed from the past due from doctors & those in medicine have learned from history & those who are willing to help us learn from the history of medicine.
So please try to learn from from your family tree, not the names & where they came from but more! It may save your or family members lives!

My Fall Garden

I love to garden. I planted a garden in the Spring, some of my stuff grew, but some didn’t because it was so hot. We had a really hot summer last year, we again had a hot summer this year as well. I researched what plants were good for Texas summer, which was good, or I probably wouldn’t have had any plants! Me and my parents went to Lowe’s and picked out seeds I wanted in my garden. I picked out Sweet Viburnum, Morning Glory, Lavender, Broccoli, Cabbage and such. I was so happy that I got them, me and my mother helped each other plant my seeds in my garden!

I decided to do a Fall Garden. Last year, we went to my aunt and uncle’s house and help my uncle plant cauliflower and broccoli in his backyard garden, we both dug out before we started planting them. My uncle, who grew up on a farm, has had quite a few gardens over the years. I had such a good time! When the broccoli was finished growing, my aunt and my uncle gave some to me. I couldn’t wait because I love both of these vegetables. He knows a lot about gardening and plants. He teaches me about this kind of stuff and I really like it that he teaches me.

Flowers and vegtables are not the only items I have in my garden. I have a bird bath, flower pots, vines, banana plants and elephant ear plants and more. If my flowers don’t grow well in my garden, I’ll get some more  flower seeds either at Lowe’s or Home Depot or Tractor Supply. I’m really excited to plant flowers during the fall season, I will be posting pictures on Twitter, Instagram and Flipboard to show their progress.

Part of our community goals for Team Awesomism is that we are helping people with autism, anxieties, GAD and ADHD overcome their fears and stress and find their comfort zones whatever they’re interested in doing. Golfing, fishing, walks, listening to music and gardening are all part of comfort zones, which we are trying to help people find their activities that make them feel comfortable or happy. We will be rebranding this website in upcoming months. It’ll be somewhat different than what we originally branded. Much of the concept will stay, just expanded!

For those of you who are members of Team Awesomism, soon you will be getting some gardening tips, videos from several different sources, and signing up on our email list that all are experienced gardeners.

We will have all kinds of gardening tips, from how to have a fall/winter garden in warmer climates to indoor container gardens. My mother will be doing videos of me planting my flowers and vegetables in my garden by using a periscope video. She will be posting videos on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest to have you watch me planting my stuff in the garden. If you have a Twitter, Instagram or Pinterest account, please follow us.

I’m going to be getting my seeds soon. If anyone has any requests of what they would like to see me grow, please let me know! I would love to hear that! I’d also love to hear any advantages and tips for my garden from you!

Also, check out the links of t-shirts I designed on Teespring below:

Thank you for reading this blog!

Peyton

Our Trip a Throwback Thursday Blog

I thought for my Blogtober post today… I would put a blog I wrote 4 years ago! it It’s really amazing how far my blog has come… I don’t even know where to begin with how different it is now.

I started blogging to kind of just to share our autism family life, And now it’s turned into a full website, with a product line among many other things.

I’m so thankful for all the support and help that I have gotten along the way. I can’t believe how different my style has become, as well as my content… I hope you enjoy this throwback blog for a throwback Thursday!

Tomorrow I will have an awesome Friday food blog!!

Thanks so much for reading my blogs and all your support,

Lynne “awesomismmom”

 

 

 

I love to travel, meeting new people and seeing new places is exciting to me. I am lucky in that our business involves traveling. We had a client flying in to meet another client that is based in Chicago. We actually had a short time to prepare for this due to several beyond our control reasons. As many of you know, traveling is always stressful, and it is more stressful when traveling with an Autistic child. Mark and I work very hard to teach Peyton day-to-day life skills, and traveling is one of those. I had Peyton pack his own suitcases and backpack. It is very hard not to pack for him or to go on behind him to make sure he has everything. I also know that if I do,then he really isn’t learning to be self-sufficient in day-to-day tasks. I gave him a general overview of what he needed to pack. I know Peyton loves checking the weather, so I encouraged him to look at Chicago weather and pack the proper clothes. I myself checked as well to make sure we wouldn’t be encountering severe weather and decided to let me make decisions on clothes etc…
We decided to drive to Chicago as that is easier with Peyton, and lucky for us we have another child who lives close and who is willing to house and dog-sit! We Homeschool so we use our travels as an opportunity to teach Peyton as well. Traveling also affords the ability to teach him things that Peyton may not otherwise be exposed to. One of the skills we worked with him on was journaling our gas expenses. We had him write down, the amount at each fill-up as well as location, cost, price per gallon and mileage. This way he can learn how much it does cost to operate a car. We also like to travel off of the main highways so we can stop at different historical locations as well as places of interest. We stopped at Hot Springs Arkansas, New Madrid, Missouri, Meramec Caverns and Jefferson Texas. Screen Shot 2015-10-07 at 4.25.29 PMEach of these places we went to the historical museums and or the main town square and read up on the History. On-site learning affords Peyton a lesson that is easier for him than just sitting being talked at, it encourages him to interact more and I find this works better. It allows Mark and I some one-on-one time with him, to discuss issues that are bothering him or topics he wants to discuss. Many times, because of his Autism, he doesn’t come and sit down and talk to us like my older ones did. Being in the car with him for a trip allows us that opportunity.
I know at times traveling can be overwhelming for Peyton as well as Mark and I, but it also affords us many amazing opportunities. I will have a 4 part blogging series on our travels, where I will go more in-depth about the places we visited, the Hotels, people we met along the way, as well as a Blog from Peyton about the trip!
I hope you will continue to follow this series and would love your comments, suggestions and feedback!

It’s here!! Blogtober

 

Welcome welcome to Blogtober! I and many other bloggers have made a commitment to try… Keyword there TRY… To blog every single day, during the month of October! I’m actually looking forward to this, as it is a nice challenge… And it really allows me to get back into the mood of blogging.

I have to admit I’ve been kind of out of the mood to blog, not really sure why 🤷🏻‍♀️ I just haven’t had the desire or the energy to blog. So this is a great challenge, because I think it will get me back to where I was before and that is Writing blogs at least a couple times a week.

My first blog that I put out yesterday, was a guest blog from my awesome 20-year-old autistic son. He wrote a great blog about why he loves fall… Actually, fall/autumn is the favorite season in our house.

Until October 31 I am going to try to write and put out a different blog each and every day… Like I said I’m not positive I will be able to but I promise I will try.

My theme for the month is going to be “when life gives you lemons turn it into lavender.” Which if you follow me on social media at all, or look at my website you know that this is something that I have started to make as my main motto.

There’s a lot more to it than just turning Lemons into Lavender… It’s about taking Situation/life events that happen to us every day, and finding the positive in them.

This goes along with my four year theme for my blog/website of “Turning Autism into Awesomism!”

Life can be really tough at times, for everyone. It can be especially tough for those in the autism community, as well as those who suffer from anxiety. Peyton has autism, I have GAD aka General Anxiety Disorder.

There are days it is actually hard for me to even get out of bed, because of my anxiety….. but I do…. because staying in bed isn’t going to Fix issues that are bothering me… That’s not to say that I don’t take naps… lay down…. relax… it just means I can’t turn the world off.

I know this is how Peyton feels as well, because he and I have discussed it many times. I hope you follow our month-long blog journey where we share with you how we take “Life’s Lemons and turn them into Lavender“ and how we are also using those situations, to help turn Autism and Anxiety into Awesomism!

Please check out my website, as I have an all natural plant-based lemon and lavender product line where the mission of the product line is to raise Awareness, Acceptance and Activism for Autism and Anxiety. More about this in future blogs!

Also, please check out Peyton‘s website… I’m so proud of him that he is an entrepreneur!

 

As always,

Thanks for reading and I look forward to your comments and your thoughts…. as we journey on this next month of Blogtober!