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Kitchen Fun for Your Sensory Sensitive or Picky Eater Child

Updated: Mar 2

Two kids baking in the kitchen with chef hats

Do you have a child who has sensory issues? Or do you have a picky eater? It's really common to have both!

If your child already has diagnosed or known sensory sensitivities showing up when it comes to everyday activities, these are likely to add problems when it comes to food.

Eating is a complex behavioral and sensory requires all of our senses!

Picky eaters don't always have sensory problems that get in their way of being better eaters, BUT if you have a sensory sensitive child who is also a picky eater, this can make things extra tricky!

Whether you are dealing with one or both of these challenges, luckily there are some things you can do at home to help things along.

A little girl smiling with her hands on her cheeks at the table

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These kitchen activity ideas are great for ALL kids! You can keep the focus on having some fun together in the kitchen, while helping your sensory sensitive child at the same time.

Cutting - Use plastic/kid chef knives and let your child practice cutting fruits, veggies, cheeses, etc.

Kids can help cut up/prepare the ingredients for a salad or soup to take part in 'cooking' for the family.

These kid-friendly cutting knives help create worry-free fun for your Kid in the Kitchen.

Spreading - Let your child use a knife to 'paint' their pancake, bread, crackers, fruit, etc. with butter,

jam, nut butter, cream cheese, or other choices.

Shape Making - Fun shapes are more appealing to children! Use favorite cookie cutters to cut

sandwiches (breads, tortillas, meats, cheeses), fruits and veggies and more.

Mashing - Give your child the hand masher to help make potatoes, applesauce, or to mash the butter

into the flour or sugar when making cookies.

Rolling - Another great sensory activity! Have your child roll out prepared dough with a rolling pin.

Try putting cake or cookie toppings into a sealed plastic bag for kids to roll over with the rolling pin

or they can use their hands or fingers to 'crush' the ingredients inside the bag.

Fun Presentation Ideas

When serving new or familiar foods, mix it up a bit and try using tiny cocktail forks and spoons,

plastic toothpicks for fruit on a stick, shape themes like 'circle' crackers and cheeses, funny faces with

fruits or veggies on waffles, toast or pizzas, and spoons and silly straws for smoothies/drinks.

A little girl holding sliced red peppers over her eyes while she works with vegetables in the kitchen

Build a Better Eater book for parents of picky eaters

Get help transforming your picky eater with Build a Better Eater - the short go-to guidebook, written by a behavioral feeding coach for kids.

All blog content shared through HealthSmart! Kids is for informational purposes only and not to be construed as medical advice. Always talk with your qualified health care provider for managing your health care needs.

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