Healthy eating (and snacking) can be a challenge for all of us. For the child with autism or for the child who has sensory issues, this challenge can be more complicated. The texture of the food, the smell and even the shape of the food can result in the child’s disinterest and dislike of that item. Being creative and presenting the snack/food in a fun, non-threatening way might lessen this challenge, ending up with the child trying something new. Below you will find some tips from a blog post found on Carmen B. Pingree Autism Center of Learning’s website, focusing on healthy eating for children with disabilities. While the article referenced is specific to those who have autism, the information provided can be relevant for children of varying abilities and disabilities.
Here are some highlights from Carmen B. Pingree Autism Center of Learning’s blog:
Why Do Children with Autism Struggle With Food?
- Increased Sensitivity
- Ritualistic Habits
- Difficulty Focusing
What Types of Snacks Should I Be Feeding My Child with Autism?
- Ants on a log
- Veggie plate focused on colors and textures
- Homemade granola bars
- Egg muffins
- Kid-friendly roasted chickpeas
- Veggie chips with a homemade, kid-friendly salsa
- Trail mix
Additional Tips to Support Your Child’s Nutritional Needs
- Take a proactive approach to pickiness
- Make mealtimes more routine
- Work with a registered dietitian
Tips For Improving an Autism Diet
- Make recipes together
- Take small steps
- Offer choices
- Offer positive reinforcement
All above reference material is from Carmen B. Pingree Autism Center of Learning. Please click on the link below to view the article and learn more: