One parent shared an article by Autism Speaks, Seven Ways to Help a Picky Eater with Autism, and asked if the Brent Woodall Foundation had any other tips to add to this list.
We at the BWF are big proponents of schedules. Offering a visual schedule to show your child there is a beginning and end to the challenge of tasting new foods will help take the responsibility off of you, the parent, and put that responsibility onto the schedule. The schedule will show your child what is expected and what their hard work will earn in the end.
The shared article kind of touches on this, but another suggestion is to find reinforcers that are similar to the new food your child is trying out. For example, if you’re trying to teach your child to eat raspberries and you know your child just loves strawberries, offer a bowl of strawberries that have similar texture and sweetness as the reinforcer.
And while we agree that overloading unhealthy reinforcers such as candy can be harmful if given too much for too long, we understand that in the BEGINNING it is very important to make the reinforcer really GREAT. So for one raspberry, give a big bowl of strawberries. Eventually you can increase the expectation and lower the reinforcer.