Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
Introducing food to a toddler with special needs
~ By Rose Anne Hughson
We've all heard that food before one is just for fun.....
but what if it's always a battle instead?
Dropped (or thrown) food, mess, refusal to eat – and everyone else’s child seems to be happily eating everything in sight!
What if they still don’t eat at 1.. or 2… or 3… When an ASD diagnosis comes it either bowls you over or everything clicks into place. It explains so much about the WHY, but you still don’t have the information you need on HOW to get your child to eat anything nutritious!
When you have a toddler refusing to eat it’s time to take a deep breath and give control back to your child. Yes, we hate mess but exploring food is an important developmental phase for little ones. In younger children, it’s the result of learning to control and coordinate food. In older toddlers it’s for cause and effect. There is so much to explore when it comes to food (whether it’s the noise it makes or the textures… or making Mummy scream “noooooo!” as she tries to catch a bowl of spaghetti). Believe it or not, when toddlers play with their food it can help them to become better eaters!
Luckily there are things we can do to make meal times easier.
About the author
Rose Anne Hughson founded Little Bites after seeing the results her strategies yielded while working to expand the diets of extremely selective eaters in special schools.
“I loved seeing them thrive and enjoy the tasting sessions, and thought to myself, ‘If these extremely selective eaters can learn to enjoy new food, other children with food struggles could too’”.
Rose Anne has been working with children with various food aversions, including severe anxiety around trying different foods, for several years, both in the UK and New Zealand. She loves being able to help children overcome their fear of new foods, tastes, textures and colours, Little Bite by Little Bite.