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How to get your ASD child to try new foods

Autistic children tend to be very picky eaters usually and its common to face mealtime challenges like very narrow food choice range, tantrums during a meal and very rigid meal regime.
Researchers believe that the underlying sensory disturbances, increased levels of anxiety may lead to autistic children being such difficult eaters.
How can you help?

  1. Offer wider choices – The ASD child needs to feel he has control over food, and this can put the child at ease. For example, offer variety of vegetables at one meal.
  2. Ensure the food texture does not aggravate the child- For example, If the texture of apple doesn’t agree with your child, make an apple smoothie.
  3. Encourage your child to try new foods gradually by introducing it to the smell and then the touch and ultimately the taste. Do not rush the process.
  4. Keep calm. It is important to be patient with your child as the ASD child tries out food several times before it is comfortable with it.
  5. Make food interesting – Experiment with food to reduce the mealtime anxiety. Try different shapes for normal foods etc.
REFERENCES
  1. Applied Behavioral Analysis. Five Tips for Introducing New Foods to Your Child with Autism.  Available at - https://www.appliedbehavioranalysisprograms.com/lists/five-tips-for-introducing-new-foods-to-your-child-with-autism/
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