DIETICIAN PROVIDES STRATEGIES TO REDUCE PICKY EATING FOR CHILDREN WITH AUTISM
I am so excited to have Caitlin on the Podcast today. Caitlin Arundale – is a dietitian who has completed the SOS Approach to Feeding.
I met Cailtin at one of my workshops. She was there with her Mum who is an Occupational Therapist. What a great family combination!
I asked Caitlin to send me some tips on helping kids to eat a range of foods as I often get questions and wanted some ideas to send to families. She kindly sent me the Tips which I have included below, but I thought it would be wonderful to also have her on the podcast to talk through the tips and answer your questions.
5 Top Tips for Children with Autism who are Fussy Eaters
- A child needs to try a food up to 20 times before their body can know if they like it. I find it helpful to remind the child of this.
- Try breaking down dishes for the kids so they can put it together themselves. For example: deconstructed spaghetti bolognese we do plain spaghetti, plain beef (I mean PLAIN), pasta sauce and cheese. They can pick and choose what goes together.
- If we only eat chicken nuggets – start making our own chicken nuggets. Either with tempura batter (easily bought online) or dipped into egg and breadcrumbs. I get the kids to do this themselves (preferably with hands but can use utensils if not coping with sensory input).
- The main goal is to break down eating. In SOS Approach to Feeding, there are 32 steps to eating. This starts from tolerating the food in the room, up to being able to interact with the food, tasting the food and finally eating the food. If your child can go from only being able to tolerating the food on someone else’s plate at the dinner table to putting it on their own plate and not eating it, we still count that as a win.
- Getting kids to ‘blow rockets’ by putting the food in between their teeth and blowing it into a designated bowl or small bin can usually help get the food into their mouth without the anxiety of having to eat it. They particularly enjoy when their parents do it as you can imagine.
Highly recommend watching this video below!! So informative