My Child is a Fussy eater
Autistic children are fussy eaters, either only eating food of a certain colour or texture; causing them too eat too little or too much of one type of food. Many children are fussy eaters but it can be more difficult if your child is Autistic. Here are some tips which can help!
How to make my child eat better
Face the problem
The best way to start making your child eat better is by acknowledging and tracking the problem. Keeping a food diary can help keep track of what they are eating, what time of day, where and who was around. This can help spot a pattern which can allow you to fix the problem.
Make sure you communicate clearly, calmly and slowly the affects not eating properly is having on them. When approaching the topic to can create a social story to help them understand the situation. This can be why we eat, the reason we eat certain foods and avoid other foods. For example, vegetables can help us feel better and grow strong. This will encourage them to eat the food that is highlighted as the "hero" food. Whilst communicating use visual aids so that they can understand you clearly and process the information. On top of this, be an example to your child. If you want them to do it you should be modelling the behaviour for them. Children look up to adults and mimic their moves. Present the new food as fun, position it on the plate in a way they will like. Change can be scary so limit the stress and keep the environment peaceful.
Offer them a reward when they eat better, this can be very effective and can make them understand that by doing the right thing they will be rewarded. After time it will be become a habit instead of a task. Make sure the reward is not food related, or a food that they are trying to avoid. It can be 30 extra minutes on electronics, for example.
If your child is eating because of stress or tension try out our Chewies collection. This way they can still enjoy the feeling of chewing instead of eating, avoiding the bad habit they have gotten into. These Chewies are reusable and washable, safe for your child and wearable.
Overall, acknowledge the problem and tackle it straight away. Keep it fun and peaceful by communicating and modelling the food habits you would like them to adopt. Reward them for their good behaviour but not with food, try instead extra time on electronics.