Feeding Challenges with ASD E-Book
Proper nutrition, a healthy balanced diet, and eating a variety of foods are of concern for those supporting individuals on the autism spectrum. Parents worry about a child who eats very few foods, never want fruits or vegetables, or eats from only one food group like carbohydrates. Educators feel concerned when they see a student eating processed foods at school which can result in energy spikes and crashes.
The subject of food is fraught with emotion because it’s impossible to make a person eat something they do not want to. It is also a misconception to think a person will eat if they are hungry enough no matter what it served – this is usually not the case. Individuals on the spectrum may experience strong emotions such as fear and anxiety about food.
Whether in the supportive role of parent, caregiver, educator or support worker, it is important to recognize eating difficulties, understand and accept them, and find solutions to foster good eating habits and nutrition. A healthy diet with a wide variety of foods can take a long time to achieve, but it is worth working towards. Good health and well-being are the primary goals around eating.