Picky Eating in Autism: How to Ensure Your Child Gets All The Nutrients They Need?
Dealing with your child’s picky nature when it comes to eating? Well, then here’s a guide that can help you out.
As a parent of someone suffering from autism, I can confirm that my kid becomes extremely annoying when it comes to food. He doesn’t want to eat anything other than sweets.
And, even if I trick him into eating something, he understands it somehow and throws a huge tantrum out of nowhere. But, fortunately, I have found a solution to get him to eat.
Keep reading to know more about it.
How To Take Care Of Picky Eating?
Here’s a reminder before we get started.
Sometimes, your kid may become a little picky about eating if they’re not feeling well. Thus, in that case, it’s always best to talk and learn more about their issue. If they’re not saying anything to you, you may opt for a physician as well.
Tip – 1: Ease The Food Into Mealtime.
Many autistic children tend to suffer from great anxiety whenever their mealtime approaches closer. That’s because they feel like you might include an unfamiliar food or two within their meal, which they absolutely hate and disgust.
Due to this reason, when you’re trying to feed them something they don’t want to, it might be better to ease it into their meal and add some spectrum omega-3 fish oils or consider a spectrum fish oil supplement from a reputable brand. This way, their window of suspicion will lower a little. And, if you’re feeding them at the right time, then there’s no need to worry at all.
Just make the cooking tasty and fragrant, that’s all.
Tip – 2: Sit Together With Them.
Always stay beside your kid during their meantime. Eat with them if you can. This, in turn, will help them feel better and feel more supportive.
They’ll also be able to learn how to eat a certain type of food or something as such. It might prompt them to eat something that they didn’t want to have before.
Tip – 3: Offer Support To Their Posture.
Many kids suffering from autism have weakness in their back and stomach muscles. So, even if they don’t want to, they might feel uncomfortable while eating something a little heavier.
In this aspect, offering support to their back and improving their posture might be beneficial. The discomfort will not be there anymore. And, they’ll eat whatever you’re giving to them.
Tip – 4: Gradual Exposure.
Offering too much information at a single time can be quite overwhelming for a child. And, the same happens when it comes to food as well.
Therefore, you should always expose them to such food items gradually. Sometimes, your kid might show a strong reaction to certain food’s color or shape too.
Therefore, it’s always best to try a new recipe, which they might like considering the overall appearance of the same. Just don’t make it too gooey. That’ll help a lot.
Tip – 5: Stick To A Routine.
I know I’ve touched this subject before, but let me say it again – an autistic child loves to stay within and follow a certain routine. Schedule is everything for them. Hence, no matter what you’re trying to feed them, stick to their natural routine. If they eat at 2:00 PM, put the food in front of them at the right time.
As they are a time-following freak, they may eat everything irrespective of whatever you’ve given them. The idea is to train their internal hunger so that they don’t question much while gobbling up their meal or dinner.
Tip – 6: Encourage Them To Explore.
When it comes to integrating the “unwanted food” in your child’s routine, making the whole experience a little creative can go a long way. For instance, put a new vegetable in front of them on a fine morning, and ask if they have any idea about it. If they don’t, tell them about it and ask,
“Do you want to know how it tastes if we put it in your favorite mutton curry?”
This, in turn, will create a sense of exploration in their mind, and, naturally as kids, they’ll be wanting to eat the same.
Seek And You Shall Find!
When it comes to taking care of your child’s eating habits, you should always be as patient as possible. Instead of joining in with their bickering, you can try talking and learning about the type of food they love the most.
Also, while they’re eating, watch intently which kind of delicacy they love the most. Do they want something a little watery? Or, are they a fan of dry food?
Follow their eating habits closely, and it’ll be easier for you to find a suitable answer for their favorite item in no time!