Autism and Eating

Have a picky eater and feel like you have tried everything?

Don’t give up as there are still ways to get your child to learn to eat and drink new items. There is no guarantee that they will learn to eat every green vegetable, but let’s discuss some ways we can expand their diets. To learn more about this service and others that we offer, click here to find out more. Every child is different, so the information below is intended to help, but services from a specialist might be needed for your particular situation.


It is recommended to first pick out the food or drink that you want them to learn to eat or drink. Then pick out their favorite food or drink as well. We are going to use both to get them motivated to increase their diet. To begin, we are going to show them both foods or drinks. Feel free to tell them, you have to eat/drink ______, then you get _____ (drink/food). Depending on the refusal of your child you may want to increase the amount of preferred items. We recommend that you start with 1 bite or sip of the non preferred item, then 7 bites of the preferred food.

Try to get as many cycles as possible per eating session during the day as you can. Once the child has 5 consecutive successful sessions, we move the ratio towards 2 non preferred bites/sips to 7 bites of the preferred. Then, keep moving up the ratio until you get to 7 and 7. Feel free to end sooner if you think your child now accepts the food or drink that you have been working on.

It is suggested to begin with foods or drinks that are similar to what they might like now and then move to more un-favored items such as vegetables as you move through more foods. Be sure your child isn’t sneaking any food or drinks during the process as well. In addition, be sure to add lots of verbal praise and even a special toy or other item when they accept the non preferred item in the program. The more reinforcement the better the outcomes. To find out more about eating programs and other services contact us today.