Where does your child eat?
Do they struggle to sit at meals?
Are the squirming or slouching?
Have you ever considered that your child’s chair could impact their eating?
Why Your Child Might Be a Picky Eater
Eating is one of the most complex activities that we do.
Eating isn’t only about knowing the correct order of steps, managing the sensory experience, or even having the oral motor skills.
Yes, all of these things need to be in place.
Yet even when they are, if your child is uncomfortable at the table or lacks the strength or endurance to eat, eating will never be successful.
Many autistic kids also have low muscle tone or other factors that can make eating and sitting for long periods difficult and tiring.
When sitting is hard, eating is hard.
When eating is too hard, kids won’t do it.
An Easy Picky Eating Solution
Check your child’s chair.
A supportive chair can be a complete game changer. I’ve worked with parents who tell me they’ve tried everything but their child just won’t eat.
When we’ve looked at their chair and swapped an unsupportive chair for a supportive one, everything changed.
The Best Chairs for Picky Eaters (and All Kids)
The ideal eating position includes support at the waist, knees, and ankles.
You want your child to have 90-degree angles at these three areas.
Don’t forget the feet! Kids do well when they have a foot rest or when their feet reach the floor.
With proper support in these areas, eating can be less tiresome and kids will be less wiggly so they can have more attention to focus on eating.
Kids chairs and tables often provide the right support. Try a booster or transitional chair when your child joins family meals.
My Favorite Chairs for Picky Eaters
You can find some of my favorite 90/90/90 chairs for kids in the Autism Nutritionist Amazon store.
If your chair is supportive at the waist and knees, but leave your child’s feet dangling, build a stand with just about anything (books, a box, a stool – just make sure it’s secure and safe) or you can try Footsi which was made specifically for kids’ dangly feet.
The secret behind your child’s picky eating may be their chair. Check to see that your child’s sitting situation provides support at the waist, knees, and ankles. When looking at your child seating from the side, you want to be able to envision a square box at each of these areas and see your child’s feet on the ground.
Examine your child’s chair. Get creative if you’re not seeing 90/90/90 support at the waist, knees, and feet or check out some of my favorite chairs for picky eaters on Amazon.