Boy with food disorder who only eats chicken nuggets sent 2,000 after recipe change

A boy with a food disorder was sent 2,000 original chicken ­nuggets by Birds Eye – because he didn’t like the new recipe.

William Stocker, 8, was put off the treats, which he has twice a day, when the firm changed their colour and ingredients.

He wouldn’t eat anything else so parents Mandy and Julian scoured shops and appealed on Facebook for stocks of the originals, The Sunday People reveals.

Total strangers as well as friends dropped off bags of them at the family home in Malvern, Worcs.

William Stocker with a plate of chicken nuggets
William Stocker with a plate of chicken nuggets
(Photo: Worcester News/SWNS)

When Birds Eye heard of the hunt, the ­company ­delivered 40kg of nuggets, plus a bag of toys, for William, who has autism.

William has Asperger’s and Avoidant-Restrictive Food Intake Disorder (ARFID), which means he only eats chicken nuggets and a few other sugary foods.

His parents, Mandy and Julian Stocker, were concerned when William stopped eating the nuggets – which he has for lunch and dinner every day.

Mandy, 44, said: “I think they made them just for us.

“It’s been so nice how many people have helped.”

Mrs Stocker, 44, said: “I cooked the last four nuggets on Tuesday morning and at 10.30am I had a delivery.They sent 2,000 free nuggets.

“Birds Eye promised to bring us the old recipe and they did. I think they cooked them especially for us.

The firm changed the colour and ingredients of the nuggets

“I knew they had changed when I took them out of the bag and realised they are using wholegrain breadcrumbs.

“William eats them all year round, even for Christmas dinner.

“It’s so hard, we can’t take him to a restaurant, he won’t eat with us, he can’t even look at other foods.

“The amount of time people say put the food in front of him and he’ll get hungry.

“But he won’t, he would rather starve.”

The darker nuggets

Mrs Stocker said her son’s food has to be orange or red and when Birds Eye changed the colour of the nuggets to a darker brown William stopped eating them.

“Autistic children stick to the same routine. The food has to be cold. He is brand specific.”

The family unsuccessfully tried to find the original recipe nuggets, scouring supermarket freezers in Hereford and Worcester.

Mrs Stocker turned to Facebook in desperation and was overwhelmed by the level of support from friends and strangers.

“We had people dropping nuggets off for us,” she said.

“Friends of friends have brought round nuggets. That’s how we kept him eating four a day for lunch.

“It has been so nice how many people I’ve met from this appeal who have the same or similar problems.”

Mr Stocker, aged 47, says Birds Eye’s delivery has given them time to find other food for his son to eat.

In addition to chicken nuggets, which William has for his lunch and dinner, he will also eat red jelly, chocolate mini rolls, Mr Kipling cakes, Jaffa Cakes and in-season strawberries.

Birds Eye also sent the family a goodie bag with toys inside it.

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