Mum is worried her autistic daughter might STARVE as Tesco have discontinued her favourite dinner

Autistic girl Tesco alphabet shapes

by Siam Goorwich |
Published on

A mum claims her autistic daughter is at risk of STARVING because Tesco have discontinued potato alphabet shapes – the only thing she will eat for dinner.

Five-year-old Ruby Passey's condition means she is extremely selective – and will only eat Tesco's own brand 'Potato Alphabet Crispy Potato Letters' with her evening meal.

But after Tesco reportedly discontinued the product last month, it's now a 'life or death' situation according to mum Nicola Passey, 31, with her little girl already refusing to eat anything else.

And now that the family have only four bags of the frozen potato bites left, Nicola says Ruby is noticeably anxious and struggling to even drink enough fluids.

Despite being the original - Ruby refuses to eat BirdsEye Alphabites (Credit: BirdseEye) ©Birdseye

Nicola, from Rugeley, Staffordshire, said: "She would rather starve than eat anything else.

"Her condition means that she doesn't like change.

"It has to be the Tesco's own brand potato alphabet shapes. If they smell different, are different sizes, are a different colour, she just won't eat them.

"She'll always have them with either Birdseye chicken dippers or Bernard Matthews turkey dinosaurs.

"But if she doesn't have the potato letters she won't eat them either. She's had the letters for years."

Autistic girl Tesco alphabet shapes
Nicola is worried Ruby will STARVE without her Tesco alphabet shapes (Credit: Caters) ©Caters

Nicola first discovered that Tesco were reportedly discontinuing the vital frozen potato letters around three weeks ago after she tried to do a shop online and couldn't order more.

She claims she rang her local stores but was informed they no longer stocked the product, so the concerned mum desperately contacted Tesco headquarters to beg them to change their minds.

The mum of two, who is also carer for Ruby, says a friend managed to salvage six bags – but now, with only four left, she and husband Daniel, 27, fear what will happen when they are finally gone.

Autistic girl Tesco alphabet shapes
Nicola claims it's a life or death situation for Ruby (Credit: Caters) ©Caters

Nicola said: "She's more anxious now and she's started to make excuses to not eat already, saying things like she has tummy ache. She's drinking less now too.

"It's as serious as a life or death situation.

"I get angry but then I can't get angry with her, I can't force her to eat something."

"People who don't really understand autism might think that I'm being petty, but it really is that serious.

"I have had people make comments saying 'why not just give her another brand?' but do they think I haven't tried that already?

"She can tell if they're not the Tesco ones."

Nicola's concerns for her daughter, who also has sensory modulation disorder, run so deeply that she is now petitioning for Tesco to bring their potato letters back for her daughter's wellbeing.

Nicola, who is also mum to son Reece, eight, said: "We know what she's got to eat but that doesn't mean that she's going to eat it.

"I'm really worried about it and we've seen specialists. It's really stressful, but they've told us that at the moment at least she's eating something – if we try to force other foods on her she might not eat anything.

Despite Nicola's concern's Tesco have said there's nothing they can do (Credit: Getty) ©Getty

"Tesco have told me that the product has been discontinued because of low sales, but I don't believe a popular children's product would sell less that something like potato croquettes that are still on the shelves.

"This is really important to us and there may be other families out there struggling with something similar who don't have the courage to speak out."

A Tesco spokesman said: "We constantly review the products that we sell, and always try to have the right range and products available for our customers.

"Unfortunately this particular product is no longer available at Tesco but we will speak to the customer to find if there are other ways we can help."

Do you think Tesco should bring back their alphabet potato shapes for Ruby? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter


Autistic boy has been reunited with his favourite toy after his mum's Facebook post goes viral

Mum of autistic boy sets up blog to spread awareness

Social media helps mother of autistic girl track down her favourite t-shirt

Just so you know, whilst we may receive a commission or other compensation from the links on this website, we never allow this to influence product selections - read why you should trust us