Tactile Exploration with Food
Some children are overly sensitive to touch, movement, visual input, or auditory input. This
may cause behaviors such as withdrawing when touched and avoiding certain textures of food or clothing.
Eating is a sensory experience! Some children may demonstrate increased sensitivity and may need help getting used to certain foods and textures. Play can be a great way to help your child become more comfortable with foods and lead to successful mealtimes.
Ways to Play!
These activities are working towards increasing comfort level with food properties such as how
it looks, smells, feels, and tastes. Some activities involve food directly while others work
towards expanding your child’s comfort level with new textures.
· Utilize sensory bins such as rice, sand, corn, beans, noodles, and cotton balls to explore with hands, feet, and even their entire bodies. Find hidden objects, bury items, and pretend play are great ways to explore with these sensory bins.
· Messy play with a variety of textures including paint, shaving cream, pudding, whipped cream, Jell-O, and yogurt. Try drawing shapes or letters in the texture or getting toys dirty before giving them a “bath.” You can also work on messy play with the entire body by having putting texture on a slide or the bathtub or plastic pool.
If these suggestion are difficult to implement at home, a evaluation with an occupational therapist may be helpful.
· Rub lotion on your child providing deep pressure massage.
· Bath time is a great time for tactile exploration. Bubbles, bath crystals, water beads, and wash cloths provide different textures.
· Have your child assist with meal preparation activities such as stirring, hand mixing, and washing foods. Also, have your child assist with clean up.