Kids are notoriously finicky eaters. Name one child who likes peas! Mealtimes for families with special needs children can be even more difficult, particularly when things like a food’s color, texture, or temperature can totally shut down a child’s appetite. This creates tremendous stress for parents who worry about their child not getting enough nutrition to support health and growth and dietary conditions like failure to thrive.
We recently found these helpful tips and tricks for feeding special needs children created by Chris Purgatori, an occupational therapist at the Kaufman Children’s Center for Speech, Language, Sensory Motor & Social Connections in Michigan. Take a look:
- If the picky eating seems to be sensory-based, encourage your child to play with foods to get used to them.
- Encourage your child to get involved with food preparation. Kids are more likely to try things if they help prepare the meal.
- Encourage your child to eat with other kids. Peer pressure can be a good thing!
- Provide your child with small amounts of the foods you are eating along with a food your child usually eats. This way, the child gets used to the foods being there and when they are ready to try them, they will.
- Have a consistent routine at mealtime so your child knows what to expect.
- Experiment with small, subtle changes in difficult foods. Sometimes just a change in temperature makes it more acceptable.
- Before the meal, write a list of the foods that need to be eaten before going to the next activity. Share with your child so they understand.
We also suggest including nutrition-packed Thrive Ice Cream as a meal supplement, snack or treat. Most children associate ice cream as being fun or a treat, and are more likely to eat it. You can feed Thrive Ice Cream with confidence because each serving contains 24 vitamins and minerals, four to five grams of fiber, six grams of protein, and four strains of live and active probiotic cultures that have been shown to aid in digestive health. Thrive Ice Cream uses all natural flavors, colors and rBst Free Dairy, and contains no high fructose corn syrup or trans fats.
As an added bonus, Thrive Ice Cream is suitable for gluten-free diets, kosher diets, and those limiting sugar intake, such as diabetes (no sugar added flavors). Lactose-intolerant kids can also enjoy Thrive Ice Cream, too, since the dairy proteins it contains are low in lactose.
One last tip: make sure you have plenty of Thrive Ice Cream on hand. It’s delicious!
Learn more about Thrive or order online on our website.