Feeding Picky Eaters – An article for parents of children with sensory integration disorder. Referenced from http://autism.com/ feeding-picky-eaters
Children, who have difficulty processing sensory messages, tend to experience different textures, smells, tastes and temperatures differently. On the other hand, it is important to know that children with sensory processing disorder also have an increased sensitivi ty to textures,smells, tastes, sounds and temperature. Therefore these children are very picky eaters. And after few trials these children learn to be a little more adventurous with their food prefer to eat the same food every day.
There are several theories that try to explain the reasons why picky eaters are picky eaters. They may have a problem processing the messages they receive from their food and so they learn to be picky because they have had bad experiences with certain foods or textures.
Picky eaters usually don’t like to try new foods. When parents offer a new food, picky eaters often make a face, push the food away, or refuse to eat it. They may also gag or vomit when they encounter a new food. Most children go through periods when they’re picky about food. But for some children, picky eating is a long-term problem.
Tips for parents:
• Present only one new food at a time.
Offer a small amount of the new food. If your child doesn’t want to eat it, don’t make a big deal out of it. Just take the food away and offer it again at another meal.
• Let your child play with his food.
Some children need to touch, smell, and explore their food before they’re ready to eat it. It’s okay to let your child play with food as long as he’s not wasting it.
• Reward your child for trying new foods.
Praise your child when he takes a bite of a new food. Don’t force your child to eat the food. Just let him know that you’re proud of him for trying it.
• Be a good role model.
Children learn by watching their parents. If you’re a picky eater, your child is more likely to be a picky eater. So try to eat a variety of foods in front of your child.
• Don’t give up.
It may take 10 or more tries before a child will accept a new food. If your child doesn’t like a food, keep offering it. Eventually, he’ll probably try it.
Healthy eating: children think their peers eat more unhealthy snacks than they actually do – changing this perception can lead to better diets
According to a new study, children believe that their peers consume more unhealthy snacks than they actually do. This false perception could lead to poorer diets and more weight gain in children.
The study, published in the journal PLoS ONE, involved more than 1,000 children aged 10-12 from 32 schools in the UK. The children were asked about their own diets and their perceptions of what their classmates ate.
The results showed that the children underestimated the amount of fruit and vegetables consumed by their peers, and overestimated the amount of sugary and fatty snacks consumed. This was especially true for boys.
lead researcher Dr. Hulda Thórisdóttir said: “Our findings suggest that children may be exposed to an ‘obesogenic peer-environment’ where the healthy option appears to be the exception rather than the rule.”
This false perception could lead to children copying their peers and making poor dietary choices. The findings highlight the need for interventions to improve children’s understanding of healthy eating.