Understanding children's eating and supporting change

It is hoped that the information available on this page will help to support your understanding of your child’s eating. As a parent/carer it can be hard to understand why a child is eating the way they are. Often their behaviours and choices can feel quite random which can leave you feeling very frustrated, upset and confused. This in turn can lead to more stressful mealtimes which can result in children eating even less.

By reading our information we hope that you will begin to see patterns which help explain what you are experiencing at home. Once your child’s eating is understood, their choices often make more sense.

We understand that changing behaviours and developing new skills can take a long time and this can be even more difficult in children with a diagnosis or behaviours associated with autism. It is important to be consistent in your approach (this includes all care givers for your child) and you are unlikely to see any significant changes in a few days/weeks.

Please click on the tiles below to view the different downloadable information sheets to understand children’s eating.

Understanding children's eating

Resources to understand children's eating
Why some children struggle to eat senses impact eating and food choice Importance of seating and positioning How children balance their eating
Impact of too much milk Impact of autism on eating and drinking Understanding growth charts Understanding and managing reflux
Understanding and managing constipation

Ideas and strategies to support change

The following tiles are advice sheets to give you ideas, strategies and activities to do with your child to enable them to change and develop new skills.

Advice sheets
Advice on learning to feed yourself Understanding finge foods Buffet style meals developing attention at mealtimes
Food chaining Making food fun messy play Learning to chew
Coping with fussy eating. Introducing new foods to hesitant eaters older
Introducing new foods to hesitant eaters younger
Success with solids
Tooth brushing Food activities and science experiments Vitamins and mineral supplements  

Supporting successful assessments

You may have been asked to send a video of your child’s eating and drinking to help support the assessment process. Please read the document as it has important information relating to data security. The information sheets below will help families to measure a child’s weight and height and take a video of their eating and drinking, successfully to help support the Services assessment of their needs.

If you are unsure which information you need to be using or have any questions please contact the team.

Assessments at home
Videoing babies and children at home for assessment Measuring babies and children at home