Understanding Food Aversion
What is food aversion? A food aversion is when a toddler or child refuses foods that are presented to him despite being developmentally appropriate. There are various factors that may play a role in the feeding experience, including sensory issues. Food aversion is common amongst children with sensory processing disorder (SPD) and autism but may be seen with any diagnosis that affects development.
Thanksgiving food activity-
Thanksgiving is around the corner and it is a great time to expose children with food aversion to a new variety of options. First encourage your child to help you prepare the thanksgiving meal. This encourages the child to interact with the food without the anxiety of trying it. This also prepares and shows the child the process of how foods are made and where they come from to relieve any of their negative feelings that may stem from these areas. Next Explain what the foods are and the benefits of eating them, it is important to present everything with a positive way to increase motivation to try successfully these foods and eat them. At the dinner table it is beneficial if all family members are eating the same things. This improves motivation by making the child feel that they are not singled out during dinner time. Lastly, keeping dinner fun and positive encourages the child to have healthy interactions with the food like making a funny face in the mash potatoes before tasting them. If a child is worried or anxious of trying a new food try to pair it with a preferred food. This will reduce anxiety and sensitivity to the novel food.
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