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Jul
06
10 Nutritional Tips for Families of Children with Autism

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The key to getting your child to eat well is the same as getting him or her to learn, play and speak well – teach good habits early on and you’ll be less likely to need to fix bad habits later.Here’s some “food for thought” on how to incorporate healthy habits into your child’s diet.1. Make healthy foods easier to access. In addition, make unhealthy foods more difficult to access. For example, put fruits, vegetables and other healthy options in easy-to-reach shelves in the refrigerator. Put foods high in sugar and unhealthy fats in the back of the refrigerator or in the cabinets.
2. Prepare healthy snacks regularly. If your child does not like eating fruits and vegetables, consider altering the way you prepare the food. Try cutting the items smaller, blending the items into a smoothie, or mixing the items with a more-preferred healthy snack, such as yogurt.
3. Plan ahead! Create a menu loaded with healthy foods for you and your family before going grocery shopping.
4. Limit foods that are unhealthy. Replace sugary or high-fat snacks and drinks that are kept in your household with nutritional items. Save the most-desired treat for after your child finishes a healthy meal.
5. Eat at the same times each day. Try to establish a mealtime routine when the entire family sits down to eat together.
6. Limit other activities during mealtime. Set expectations for your child that clearly outline the contingency of eating first, then playing.
7. Include a variety of foods in your child’s diet. This will help reduce restrictive eating habits.
8. Limit trips for fast food. Planning ahead and making that menu will help!
9. Monitor portions. Find out what size portions your child should have and be careful of providing portions that are too large or too small.
10. Be aware of allergies. Visit with you doctor to make sure you and your child are not allergic to any foods that you currently include in your diet.
If you have tried and tried again, and you still cannot seem to get your child to eat healthy foods, consider a feeding therapy program. Using techniques of ABA therapy, feeding therapy can help children in their journey to enjoying more foods and shape behaviors around eating non-preferred items.Tags: Autism feeding therapy, Nutritional tips for children with autism, parenting tips for autism