Nutrition is important for adults and children of all ages. Setting a good example for our children can make the world of a difference in their health and development. My most recent article for Anton Newspapers focuses on good nutrition in children with autism. Here is a brief excerpt from the article:
April is National Autism Awareness Month, a nationwide effort to promote autism awareness, inclusion, and self-determination for all. If you have a child with autism, all of the conflicting information about what is “healthy” can be tricky. Plus, balancing your child’s behavior and your own feelings around food can also pose challenges as to what you end up feeding your child. Here are a few simple strategies to build good nutrition for your child as they grow.
Prioritize Family Meals
A sit-down family meal is crucial for helping your child form a healthy relationship with food. Plus, sitting down for a meal can help keep your child more focused and in-tune with their hunger cues. If the whole family isn’t available for dinner, maybe breakfast is the best time for a nice sit-down meal together. Try to get the kids involved with meal preparation as well, such as breaking lettuce leaves for a delicious salad or washing fresh berries for breakfast. If they prepare a healthy item, then they may be more inclined to eat it.
Don’t Give In To Battles Over Food
Food should not be the source of anger or frustration with your child. Let them have a say in regards to food preferences, but not to the point that you become a short order cook. If you continue to prepare substitutions, this will just make your child hold out longer next time to get what they want. Avoid using the word “picky,” as this can reinforce stubborn behavior around food. And instead of forcing your child to finish their plate, try to take a more relaxed attitude and let your child learn about their internal hunger and fullness. Encourage, but don’t force, a taste of everything prepared for the meal. Try to keep primarily...
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