Feeding Toolkit for Parents of Children with Autism

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

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

On its website, Autism Speaks offers access to a special tool kit to help parents and professionals better understand 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 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 your child’s diet may be very difficult,” Salvatori said. “There is often a reason for the refusal behavior, such as sensory processing difficulties, that may make it nearly impossible for a child to tolerate a food that is soft or smooth.” 

“Consulting with a registered dietitian can help reassure you,” she added, “that 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 – go to https://www.autismspeaks.org/tool-kit/atnair-p-guide-exploring-feeding-behavior-autism 

If anyone has any questions about nutrition, they can reach Gina Salvatori, a registered dietitian with CHC Solutions, at clinicians@chcsolutions.com.

*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.