Eating habits for Autistic kids
Wanted to jump up here and talk about eating and food habits of our kiddos. It's common knowledge that autistic children tend to be picky eaters. I want to share some insight with y'all.
First, if your child has an issue with certain foods or textures, never expect them or try and force them to eat it. Don't do the "clean plate or else" thing with ANY child, all that does is enforce the notion that you have to eat everything before you're finished. Obesity is a major issue, and this plays a huge factor in it! But with an autistic child, you can literally make them sick or have a sensory issue over foods they cannot stand.
Second, keep a list on hand (mine is on my notes app in my iPhone) of safe foods for your child. If you know your kid loves that food, write it down! This is important because your child may like more foods than you even realize. Like if we go out to eat and David eats something off of my plate and likes it, I add it to the list. That way I can remember that for the future. I find it helpful to keep a wide variety of foods availabile for him so he doesn't become too dependent on something, like nuggets, where he becomes even pickier.
Third, exposure exposure EXPOSURE! You may think putting something on your child's plate is useless, but it's not. The more a child sees varieties of foods like veggies and fruits, the more likely they are to try it. After seeing me eat whole wheat orzo a few times, David decided to try some and loved it. I also read a book about teaching your child to become an intuitive eater (which does not make me an expert, just sharing!) and exposure really is key to widening your child's pallet, autistic or not.
Want to make it fun? A childhood nutritionist I know plays a game with her kids where they try one new food each week. I loved that idea so wanted to share!!
Y'all have any tips for me? Let me know!