A child having an autism spectrum disorder is a challenging condition for many parents. The delay in onset of speech and lack of social communication can pose health and nutritional risk. The inability to express what your child wants could lead to a frustrating food guessing game.
As parents, of course, we want to give our child optimal nutrition for their quick growth and development. But sometimes, kids affected with ASD can be picky most of the time. This narrows the food selection available to for your little one!
But to help you deal with the challenges, here are some guidelines you may want to try.
Make it a Routine
Making mealtimes unpredictable is not advantageous for your kid. When it comes to feeding time, make sure that you make it a routine. Set a time for every meal. Plan your activities carefully and stick to it. Make sure that the flow of activity is the same if not familiar.
Take note that you can trigger anxiety when introducing new routines. So, make sure that you do not overwhelm your child with too much at once. Let them finish their pattern and lead them to feeding time.
Kids are fascinated with colors and selection. Take advantage of this by putting different colors at the table. Use different types of fruits to increase the nutritional value of every meal. You can offer different colored drinks to make it more fun.
You can use natural food colors and mix with batters to make colorful waffles, pancakes, or pizzelles, or in anything you bake! This can capture the attention of your child during mealtime. Mix some gummies or some of their favorite food to make mealtimes more enjoyable!
Mix Lots of Fiber
Kids suffering from ASD tend to favor only a few types of food. This limited food selection can lead to some deficiency in fiber and could lead to constipation. Monotonous food selection can have an effect on the overall health of the digestive tract.
Do include fibrous food to make sure that constipation or diarrhea will not be an often occurrence. Digestive cookies can help you deal with this.
Vitamins and Mineral Supplementation
Due to the picky nature of kids affected with ASD, vitamin and mineral deficiency are a common occurrence. See to it that you are supplementing meals with vitamins and minerals.
Tweak the Environment
Staging a special area for feeding can help you establish an irresistible mealtime environment. Establishing an area for eating only can help you organize the surrounding to give cues that it is time to eat! This can also assist you in establishing a routine!
Play Some Music
They may not seem to be as attentive as the other kids, but still, you can us audible cues to remind their subconscious that it’s time to eat! Play the same song every meal time to tell your little one that it’s time for a meal.
Make Food Fun
Deviating from the routine can easily upset your little one. Making meal times fun can help you set the mood and make sure that feeding time will not be difficult. Avoid too much noise and play music subtly to create a fun and relaxing ambiance!
Seek Professional Advice
If your picky eater has an allergy to some types of food, this can drastically narrow the selection of food they willingly eat. Consulting a dietician can help you formulate the right type of food for you child and can help you provide the most nutritious kinds of food using your small selection of ingredients.
Remember that your child will be anxious with stuff that is new to them. When introducing new types of food, be sure to use familiar ingredients so that they may be willing to eat it.
Take Care of Yourself Too!
Deciding what to prepare everyday with limited selection can be frustrating for you. Especially when your kid would not eat what you dearly prepared for them. This can have a negative effect on your emotional well-being as a parent and could be, sometimes, discouraging.
Make sure that you are taking care of yourself too! Times can be difficult, but as long as you are okay, you can always make a nutritious meal for your kid!
The challenges of rearing a child with ASD can be overwhelming sometimes. With proper management and establishment of routine, you can deal with meal times with much more efficiency. Scheduling a routine can work well for you and your kid!
Aside from the condition of your kid, there are other stuff that you need to take care of too. So be sure that you are always well too!
Learned something from this post? Feel free to ask questions below, and I will get back to you soon!
|My name is Kristin, and I’m a housewife with big love for cooking. When I’m not bringing on the Food Network and attempting to become America’s Next Top Chef, I’m browsing online for unique recipes to awe my friends with. Now I ‘m a founder and main editor for Taste Insight, my blog about nutrition and vegetarian food!