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Increasing Food Repetoire in Kids with Sensitivies

Food sensitivities often co-exist with language delays. Many times parents think that their child is just really picky until it is brought to their attention that a repertoire of so few foods is not healthy or typical.

Often kids will eliminate textures, flavors, or colors.  Some examples of this are that a child will only eat crunchy salty foods or they will only eat bland colorless foods such as rice or potatoes. There are many ways to incorporate new textures and flavors into a child’s diet but I have found food chaining to be most successful for this type of sensitivity.

This blog is a great place to start and here are some quick tips and tricks I give to many parents.

  • Introduce new foods slowly. If he is aversive to a food, put it in a bowl next to his plate and over time transition it to his plate.
  • Do not force foods on him.
  • Do encourage him to play with foods (especially food that he is aversive to)
  • Fingerpaint with pudding (then lick your fingers)
  • Use dips like BBQ, ranch, humus, sour cream, gravy
  • Add a small amount of a new food to his preferred food but let him see you add them (add 2 small cooked carrot pieces to his mac & cheese)
  • Eat with him and play with his food with him.
  • Use his dips for your food
  • Make mealtime fun and encourage siblings to model for him
  • Encourage him to help with mealtime preparation
  • Transition new foods slowly and do not ever force him to eat the new food.

Children are usually most successful with this through a trained speech-language pathologist rather than a parent initially.  Parents will be transitioned into mealtime training over time.


About Express Yourself SLP

Express Yourself Speech-Language Pathology (SLP) offers treatment, prevention, advocacy, education, and administration, in the areas of communication and swallowing from birth through 18 years of age These are the areas of speech, language and feeding I work on with chidlren in their own homes or in the community: Articulation – finding the right place in the mouth to make a sound like /s/ or /r/. Expressive Language – grammar, vocabulary development, and language development (this might be sign language or verbal language) Disfluency (stuttering) – decreasing and eliminating disfluency and concomitant behaviors associated with stuttering. Feeding – increasing food repetoire including textures, colors, and flavors. Receptive Language - comprehension of verbal or signed language Social Language – understanding and implementing expected social rules in play and conversation. This can be individually or in groups with peers Sessions are 50 minutes. Parents or caregivers must be present when sessions are in the home. If the caregiver would like a community outting, the child must be driven to the desired location by a caregiver or it should be within walking distance of the home. Parents or caregivers are also welcome and encouraged to join in community outtings.

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