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Blog - Food for children on the autistic spectrum



It is very common for children and young people on the autistic spectrum to have a restricted diet, in many cases eating only a limited range of foods. Beige foods are often a favourite - crisps, white bread, biscuits, chicken nuggets etc.


Eating a very limited diet can cause issues with digestion, including constipation, diarrhoea and bloating.


It may be that sensory differences make your child over or under-sensitive to the tastes, smells and textures of different foods, and can cause anxiety around trying something new or different.


Eating in social situations or just generally in front of other people can be stressful too, with lots of different smells, noises and people associated with meal times. You may find that your child prefers to retire to a quieter area to enjoy their meal, and will eat more or better if eating in a relaxed environment.


Part of your child's transition process to Fountain Head will include finding out about your child's food preferences and diet, and any worries or concerns that you or they may have around meal times, so that we can do our best to address these.


At Fountain Head House School, we are very proud of our school kitchen which has recently secured a 5* hygiene rating, from which our staff are able to offer a range of meals which are cooked on-site. We can cater for various diets, food aversions and preferences with an alternative to the main option each day, and allow children to eat their lunch in different areas of the school if they prefer not to eat in the canteen. Staff can also collect meals for children if they prefer not to enter the canteen at all. Packed lunches from home are also very welcome too, and again children can choose to eat in the canteen or elsewhere in the school if they'd prefer.


We also have a life skills kitchen area at Fountain Head, where children enjoy weekly timetabled cooking and baking sessions. Talking and learning about the different food groups, what a balanced diet might look like and how to safely prepare and store food being key focus areas. Children are also able to prepare breakfast in school if they have not eaten before arriving at the school in the morning.


If after reading the above you would like to find out more about Fountain Head House School, please visit www.fhhschool.co.uk, email Thereza.DeLucca@fhhschools.com or call 01752 853891.


References:

https://www.bda.uk.com/resource/autism-diet.html

https://www.autism.org.uk/advice-and-guidance/topics/behaviour/eating

https://www.autismspeaks.org/expert-opinion/what-it-about-autism-and-food-0

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