Sensory - Taste

Taste (Hypersensitive)

 

May find many common tastes repulsive.

 

  1. Try to offer a variety of different food, but don’t insist that they eat or drink certain things.

  2. Try to introduce new foods very slowly.

  3. Add small amounts of different foods on their plate as well as foods they are comfortable with.  If they cannot cope with new food on their plate, place them on the table instead.

  4. Place food on the table buffet style and allow them to choose what they would like to try.

  5. Use Social Stories™ to encourage trying new foods.

  6. Model trying new foods yourself.

  7. Allow them to touch and play with new foods and textures.  This may take a while before this is tolerated.

 

May struggle with food textures/strong flavours as they can cause discomfort in the mouth or make them gag/vomit.

 

  1. Try to offer a variety of different food, but don’t insist that they eat or drink certain things.

  2. Try to introduce new foods very slowly.

  3. Add small amounts of different foods on their plate as well as foods they are comfortable with.  If they cannot cope with new food on their plate, place them on the table instead.

  4. Place food on the table buffet style and allow them to choose what they would like to try.

  5. Use Social Stories™ to encourage trying new foods.

  6. Model trying new foods yourself.

  7. Allow them to touch and play with new foods and textures.  This may take a while before this is tolerated.

  8. Add flavours gradually.  Start with bland/mild flavours and gradually introduce flavours one at a time.

 

May struggle with foods touching each other.

 

  1. Food can be placed on smaller separate plates/dishes.

  2. Keep gravies/sauces separate from meal, so they can add as little or as much as they would like.

  3. Plates with separate sections are available to buy.

 

May have a restricted diet and only eat a small variety of foods.

 

  1. Try to offer a variety of different food, but don’t insist that they eat or drink certain things.

  2. Try to introduce new foods very slowly.

  3. Add small amounts of different foods on their plate as well as foods they are comfortable with.  If they cannot cope with new food on their plate, place them on the table instead.

  4. Place food on the table buffet style and allow them to choose what they would like to try.

  5. Use Social Stories™ to encourage trying new foods.

  6. Model trying new foods yourself.

  7. Allow them to touch and play with new foods and textures.  This may take a while before this is tolerated.

  8. If diet is very restricted speak to a doctor to check they are getting enough nutrition.

  9. If necessary a GP can refer to a dietician to support trying new foods.  They may also recommend supplements if they are not receiving adequate vitamins.

  10. Avoid making a fuss if they are eating only a small amount or variety as this may reinforce problems.  If concerned speak to a GP.

 

May only eat a certain colour food.

 

  1. Try to offer a variety of different food, but don’t insist that they eat or drink certain things.

  2. Try to introduce new foods very slowly.

  3. Add small amounts of different foods on their plate as well as foods they are comfortable with.  If they cannot cope with new food on their plate, place them on the table instead.

  4. Place food on the table buffet style and allow them to choose what they would like to try.

  5. Use Social Stories™ to encourage trying new foods.

  6. Model trying new foods yourself.

  7. Allow them to touch and play with new foods and textures.  This may take a while before this is tolerated.

 

May avoid messy food and dislike food on their hands i.e. ice-cream dripping.

 

  1. Allow them to touch and play with new foods and textures.  This may take a while before this is tolerated.

 

Taste (hyposensitive)

 

May need to lick/taste everything before engaging with it.

 

  1. Use an electric toothbrush (without paste) to give sensory feedback.

  2. Allow them to chew on chewellery, gum, straws etc.

  3. Access to different textured snacks such as crunchy carrots/breadsticks, chewy sweets, chewing gum, ice lollies etc.

  4. Provide strong flavoured food.

  5. Provide cold foods.

 

May seek out strong tastes and flavours i.e. spicy food.

 

  1. Provide access to strong flavoured foods.

  2. Allow them to add spices to blander flavoured meals if appropriate, to encourage more variety of foods.

 

May enjoy different food textures i.e. crunchy.

 

  1. Access to different textured snacks such as crunchy carrots/breadsticks, chewy sweets, chewing gum etc.

  2. Allow them to add favoured textures to less textured food if appropriate, to encourage more variety of foods.

 

May put non-edible objects in their mouths.

 

  1. Use an electric toothbrush (without paste) to give sensory feedback.

  2. Allow them to chew on chewellery, gum, straws etc.

  3. Access to different textured snacks such as crunchy carrots/breadsticks, chewy sweets, chewing gum, ice lollies etc.

  4. See PICA in Food Issues section for advice.

 

May eat anything including grass, soil etc (PICA).

 

  1. See PICA in Food Issues section for advice.

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