So your kid really only eats crunchy and chewy foods. Things like crackers, crackers, more crackers, oh, and maybe some chips or pretzels. Food texture preferences combined with picky eating can make creating a balanced meal plan that your autistic child can and actually wants to eat a challenge.
If you’re feeling defeated every time you make a meal, you’re worried your child isn’t getting the right nutrition, and you’re ready to serve something for snack that isn’t one of those crackers, this meal plan is for you.
But first, a quick tip about what you should include in a meal plan for your autistic child.
What Kids Meals Should Include
Nutritionally, an ideal meal contains protein, carbohydrate, fat, and fiber. One of the rules I give to families in my autism nutrition program is to make sure every meal has a protein, carb, and fruit and/or vegetable. These combinations provide all the nutrients that kids need to have energy to play, stay healthy, and feel full.
Portion Sizes for Kids
This meal plan for kids with autism and sensory issues who like crunchy foods is an idea to help with your meal planning. Always adjust based on your child’s age, individual food preferences, hunger level, activity level, and nutritional needs.
A child’s intake will often vary day-to-day, so every meal and every day may look different. That’s normal for kids! If you’re wondering if your child is eating enough, you can read more about the best portion sizes for toddlers and autistic kids here.
Crunchy and Chewy Meal Plan for Sensory Seekers with Autism
Overcooked crispy bacon
Thawing frozen waffles
Granola in just a little yogurt or milk
Rice cakes with thinly spread nut or seed butter
Jicama and carrot slices with favorite dip
Baked crispy chicken strips
Raw cauliflower and broccoli florets
Frozen blueberries dipped in yogurt
There you have it! A crunchy meal plan for autistic kids who like crunchy foods. Do you have any suggestions to add? Share in the comments. Your fellow autism parents will appreciate it!
For even more meal and snack ideas for kids with autism and sensory symptoms, check out these resources:
Sensory Snack Guide for picky eaters and kids with SPD or food texture preferences
Easy gluten and dairy free lunch ideas for kids with autism
Easy gluten and dairy free breakfast ideas for kids with autism
With a bit of creativity and thought you can incorporate your child’s sensory food preferences into a healthy meal plan.
Starting one meal at a time, use this sensory meal plan to remake one of your child’s meals. Once this is comfortable, move on to another meal.