One of the biggest problems that parents with kids who have sensory issues is meal preparation. The majority of kids will chow down on almost anything that is served to them. But parents who have kids who struggle with eating foods that aren’t heated just right or that aren’t shaped a certain way know the difficulty of planning for a day ahead, let alone an entire week! We recommend that you start by jotting down a list of foods that you know your kids can eat whether it is hot or cold. Then pack these items in portion containers to keep them fresh! If you are packing a lunch for your child to go to school, sending him with french fries or pancakes won’t be ideal if he only eats them when they are piping hot!
You need to continue to feed your child foods that he or she already like during the day so that they will get through the school lessons without being fussy. Leave food experimentation and trying new things for the times when you are at home with them. That way, there is more time, less pressure and the children won’t be frustrated and hungry at the end of the day. Additionally, seeing other kids with different foods might even push your child to want to try new things.
I decided to start using portion control containers that I received from an exercise program I own to pack in my kids’ lunch boxes. The containers are colorful and each one stands for a different food group. It has helped my kids understand the different healthy food groups and how we need to try to eat foods from the entire rainbow in order to feel good and healthy. Opening up the seven color 21 day fix containers helps my kid to stay healthy and to explore new food options that he might have disregarded otherwise. We like to plan our meals together on Sundays. And also to sort the fruit into the purple container. Mix and sort the veggies into the green container, choose a protein for the red container, and so forth. While he won’t eat or try everything, he has fun sorting them by color and this is helping him with his texture sensory issues. The more food he touches and even brings to his lips, the better we are moving forward. He has started to put his cereal in the yellow carbohydrates container and even eat from it!
That is actually some of the foods we will meal plan to pack in our lunch bag. Cold cereal, fruit and a yogurt. He still doesn’t like drinking water, but he is drinking pure fruit juices and milk so I am at least pleased for that!
By prepping in advance, not only am I making sure he is getting fed properly, but we are getting healthy together and slowly will get off the chicken nugget and chocolate diet he is currently on!