Feeding Toolkit for Parents of Children with Autism

Photo of fruits and vegetables which some children with autism may have issues with.

Researchers estimate that more than 50 percent of children diagnosed with autism have an issue with some food or feeding, according to the nonprofit group Autism Speaks

These feeding issues sometimes can create significant concern for parents and caregivers. This is in part because they can impact a child’s overall health and wellbeing.  

The Autism Speaks website, offers access to a special tool kit to help parents and professionals better understand food and feeding issues among children with autism. 

Sections in the toolkit include topics such as “What are Feeding Problems?,” “When to be Concerned” and “Tips to Help with Feeding Issues at Home.”  

Gina Salvatori, a registered dietitian (RD) with CHC Solutions, Inc., said it is important to remember why children with autism refuse certain foods. 

“Due to the complexity of autism spectrum disorder, introducing new foods or expanding a child’s diet may be very difficult,” Salvatori said. “There is often a reason for the refusal behavior, such as sensory processing difficulties. These reasons can make it nearly impossible for a child to tolerate a food that is soft or smooth.” 

“Consulting with an RD can help tremendously. They can help create specialized plans and provide specific recommendations for nutritional formulas.”  Although your child may not eat smooth foods or anything green, they can still meet their nutritional needs.

For more information – or to access the online toolkit – visit Autism Speaks

For questions about nutrition, contact Gina Salvatori at clinicians@chcsolutions.com or call 1.800.220.0798.

*Disclaimer: Any health and wellness content presented is for general informational purposes only. Such content is not intended to replace or serve as a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment.