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  • Writer's pictureJo

Autism: Tips for overcoming eating issues

Are you over chicken nuggets, fries, hash browns, sausages and white bread? We were too, so that's why we looked long & hard for a solution. ASD & eating is a complex issue which needs to take sensory, color, texture & consistency into account.






The book "French Kids Eat Everything" by Karen Le Billon was our Rosetta stone for unlocking our child's restrictive, narrow palette and it worked wonders!

Although not written for Autism, it contains cornerstone strategies we adapted successfully to help our daughter develop a healthier relationship with food & vastly expand her range of foods which helped her mood, mental state and anxiety.


Here are the key take aways that worked wonders:


Structured Meal Times

The French approach emphasizes structured meal times with set menus, which can provide predictability and routine for children with autism who may benefit from a structured environment.


✅ Exposure to a Variety of Foods

French children are encouraged to try a wide variety of foods from a young age. Similarly, children with autism can benefit from exposure to different

tastes, textures, and colors of food to expand their palate and reduce food aversions.


✅ Encouraging Independence

The book discusses how French children are encouraged to be

independent eaters and to take responsibility for their own food choices. This approach can empower children with autism to make their own food choices and develop self-confidence in their eating abilities.


✅ Role Modelling and Family Meals

The importance of family meals and positive role modelling is emphasized in the book. Sharing meals as a family can provide opportunities for

children with autism to observe and learn from others; eating behaviors in a supportive

environment.


✅ Patience and Persistence

The author discusses the importance of patience and persistence when introducing new foods to children. This mindset can be particularly relevant for parents

of children with autism, who may need to introduce foods gradually and repeatedly to help their child become comfortable with them.


✅ Sensory Considerations

While not explicitly addressed in the book, the French approach to food often involves an appreciation for different sensory experiences, such as the texture, aroma, and presentation of food. Parents of children with autism can apply this mindset by considering their child's sensory preferences and aversions when selecting and preparing foods.


✅ Positive Mealtime Environment

Creating a positive mealtime environment free of pressure and stress is key in the French approach. Similarly, children with autism may benefit from a calm and supportive mealtime environment that minimizes sensory distractions and anxiety triggers.


✅ Gradual Exposure and Desensitization

The book emphasizes the importance of gradual exposure to new foods and the concept of desensitization, which can be particularly relevant for children with autism who may have sensory sensitivities or food aversions.


I hope you found these insights both interesting and inspirational.


If you would like to know more, please reach out to me either via my contact form or DM me on my Instagram feed @asdtools_app


Cheerio Jo


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