The informal term ‘beige food’ is used to describe the kinds of foods that many autistic people – children and adults alike – find less challenging to have in our diets. because of their pale, uniform colour, they are mild in taste and smell, many of them are soft (some autistic people prefer only crunchy foods). What unites them is that they are comforting and predictable, particularly if we, as we so often do, stick with very specific brands. They also have the benefit of being quick to cook, if indeed they need cooking at all!

They’re not all strictly beige, of course, as these examples of ‘beige foods’ show:

  • chicken nuggets
  • pasta
  • chips (French fries)

  • crisps

  • mashed potato
  • white bread
  • macaroni cheese
  • crackers
  • Yorkshire pudding
  • waffles

  • cereals
  • cheese

 

 

 

Unfortunately, another thing that many of these foods have in common, is that many are low in nutritional value. Those that aren’t, certainly don’t meet a human’s nutritional needs when eaten either in isolation or as part of a very restrictive diet (you might find reading the posts on ARFID and Vitamins and minerals useful).

Not all autistic people love beige food. With the exception of my beloved mashed potato and peas with vinegar and butter (which cannot possibly be matched as my Lifetime Favourite Meal), I find the sight of beige meals really stomach churning. In fact, that’s how my petit pois came into play in the first place – to add a bit of colour!

So, what conclusions can we draw from this lighthearted little piece? Some of us love crunchy sensations, some love mushy, many would go beige to golden and no further, and some like all the colours of the rainbow. We’re a varied lot, just like every other neurotype.

The British Dietetic Association has more information on autism and diet but way more fun to read is this article from The Wyrd Sisters: Autistic comfort foods and breaking our beige boundaries.