Food is an integral part of life. For a child with autism, it can also be one of the most significant sources of upset in the daily schedule. Children with autism often have a limited taste when it comes to food. Textures and smells can make them avoid many nutritious foods. They usually don’t like to try new things and may develop rituals that they need to follow before eating. These can include using only a particular dish or sitting in a specific place at mealtime. Any change in this can create a meltdown and refusal to eat. Still, others with autism have a preference for foods that hold little or no nutritional value. They may be overweight because of this.
Any food and nutrition program for autism must be willing to take these and other food-related problems into account. For nutrition education in TX, Camp Worth is one that takes these things and more into account. We have discovered numerous benefits to a food and nutrition program as part of our autism treatment program. For more information, contact Camp Worth today at 855.915.2545.
Increase Food Variety
A food and nutrition program will help introduce new foods slowly into a child’s menu. They get a chance to learn to work around smell and texture to give food that is different from what they’re used to a chance. This practice also increases the likelihood of adding beneficial nutrients to a limited diet. The program may include incentives for trying new foods and encouragement for initiating these trials. In time, the person learns to tolerate textures more and discovers many foods that they like.
Helps Develop Social Skills
Many times in society, social events revolve around food. A food and nutrition program will help encourage proper social behavior during mealtime. A participant will learn how to handle situations such as being served a new food or a disliked one. They will practice appropriate communication, and the individual can work on mastering fine motor skills simultaneously. They can also practice manners can and refined.
One thing that you need to enforce at home consistently is self-care skills. Your adolescent with autism will soon be facing going out on their own, at least partially. Part of good self-care is being able to plan a balanced meal, shop for ingredients, and cook the meal, all of which are critical for long-term independence.
None of this happens all at once. First, the individual has to understand good nutrition. a strong program will help the student understand why their diet is important and what to look for when planning. Eventually, they will work their way up to planning and creating a meal they can be proud to share with others.
Healthier Eating Habits
With the variety and the ability to make good choices, healthier eating habits develop. This practice translates into a program participant being able to maintain a better weight, increase muscle tone, and controlling any underlying digestive issues. The better they feel, the more incentive there is to continue the healthier eating.
Our Food and Nutrition Program
Here at Camp Worth, we have set up our food and nutrition program to be integrated with our other programs to help offer consistency across the table. Skills such as increasing fine motor use are needed for managing silverware. This is worked on during physical therapy to help your child recognize the consistency of learning a skill and using it somewhere else. We offer several additional treatment options, including:
- Applied behavioral analysis program
- Medication management
- Autism parent training program
- Autism therapy programs