Nutrition for autistic children can be challenging. Parents of children with autism try to manage various food sensitivities on top of the normal behavioral issues facing a family living with a child with autism. If you are the parent of a child with autism, you surely want to create a food and nutrition program that will be easy for your child to follow and still get them the nutrition they need.
Here at Camp Worth, we understand the challenges that can come up at mealtime, and our autism treatment programs will teach you how to make mealtimes a positive experience for the whole family. Call 855.915.2545 today to speak with our therapists about our food and nutrition program.
Common Nutritional Deficiencies for Children with Autism
There may be some underlying issues that are making mealtimes challenging. For example, if your child complains of an upset tummy a lot, there may be a gastrointestinal disorder or several different issues, including:
- Likes food with a specific texture
- Needs to eat at a specific time
- Obsessed with food presentation
- Does not like new food
- Obsessed with a specific food item
If children do not eat a wide enough variety of food, they can miss out on nutrients important for their growth and mental development. Unfortunately, many times children with autism do not get enough nutrients because they eat a limited variety of foods. Nutritional deficiencies may include:
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
Other eating disorders can also occur like obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease when you do not follow a proper food and nutrition program. At Camp Worth, our autism treatment programs include food and nutrition classes that will show you how to properly prepare your meals so that your child is getting all of the nutrients their growing bodies need.
How You Can Make Mealtime Positive
Preparing for mealtime does not have to be challenging. You can easily avoid mealtime challenges by doing a few simple steps to make sure your child is relaxed before mealtime.
Stick to a Meal Schedule
Schedules are critical in keeping your child happy. The more you stick to that schedule, the easier it will be for your child to get through the day. Mealtimes should be at the same time and place every day.
If you do have to change their schedule, do so in small steps until they sit long enough to finish the meal. Any changes to their schedule should be slow to give them time to adapt.
Be Creative in Introducing New Foods
New foods can cause problems unless you introduce them slowly. Ensure that the new foods have the same shape or color as the other food.
Introduce a new game when you want them to try new food. Let your child play with the new food to get used to the texture, smell, and taste.
Studies have found that the chemical sulforaphane may have a positive effect on autistic symptoms. This chemical is in cruciferous vegetables, and they are very nutritious.
- Brussel sprouts
If you get frustrated and upset, your child’s poor behavior will only intensify. Keeping a cool head and a smile on your face even at the hardest times is critical in maintaining mealtime challenges to a minimum.
If you would like more information about nutrition for autistic children, give us a call. You can speak with one of our food and nutrition program experts for more information about how you can make sure your child is getting all of the nutrition that they need.
Keep Mealtimes Positive with Help from Camp Worth
Give yourself and your child the tools you need to make mealtimes happy and stress-free. Our food and nutrition programs are designed to help teach both parent and child important tips to keep mealtime challenges to a minimum. Also, we provide extensive information about nutrition for autistic children. Call 855.915.2545 today and speak with one of our certified therapists.