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Mealtime Strategies for Children with Autism

Mealtime Strategies for Children with Autism

Have you had mealtime challenges with your child who has autism? These challenges can range from not wanting to eat new foods or simply not having an appetite at all. Even for children with autism, the need to eat nutritious meals every time is important.

As we provide Habilitation Services, we know how addressing the needs of a person with autism can be very challenging. Yet, it is not impossible to promote their overall health with some help in between. For that, we would like to share some helpful strategies to improve your loved one’s eating habits even when autism seems to disrupt them:

  • Consult the Doctor
    You need to know if your child’s lack of appetite is not caused by any physical condition or illness. Many children with autism face medical issues such as chewing difficulty or acid reflux. These issues keep them from eating well. Seek the doctor’s advice on what you can do to treat these conditions.
  • Help a Child Relax
    If your child appears anxious before mealtimes, find ways to get them to relax. You can introduce deep breathing or having them do hand exercises with each other. Also, it is important for the child to feel that they are not forced when they eat. Avoid the instances of forcing them to eat to reduce anxious behaviors.
  • Sit with the Child
    As providers of Support Service in Indiana, we know how having companions can give comfort to persons with autism. When they feel relaxed in your company, they can also follow your example with the way you eat, chew, and swallow.
  • Gradual Food Introduction
    If you want to introduce new kinds of foods to your child, do it in a gradual manner. For instance, you can start with storytelling related to the food, then pointing it out in grocery stores. After days of letting them see these, you can place these foods on the table just for familiarity. Eventually, they can relax in the presence of the food, and enjoy eating it later on.
  • Encourage Food Exploration
    It may sound unusual, but letting your child with autism explore their food helps them to see eating as something fun. As they enjoy exploring the different fruits and vegetables you set before them, they will learn to feel comfortable with new foods. Isn’t this a creative way to practice Home health care through their meals?
  • Stick to Meal Times
    Children, with or without autism, can benefit from fixed eating routines. These routines train their body clock so that they will feel hungry at the scheduled time.

How do you find the aforementioned tips? If you’re applying any of these, do let us know how it went for you!

Meanwhile, if you’re looking for providers of Respite Services in Fort Wayne, Indiana to watch over your child who has autism while you run errands, we’re here. Call Beloved Shepherd LLC for more inquiries.

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