Tasting (gustatory) differences

Strategies to support children who have aversion to or seek input from certain food tastes and textures.

Identified barrier and / or need:

  • A child may also seek input from foods and food textures.
  • A child may have aversion to certain food tastes and textures.

Strategies and approaches:

  • Staff recognise the positive impact that recognising and planning for children’s sensory differences and needs have on children’s learning and emotional well-being.
  • Use visual supports to support with choices and awareness of what is for lunch, snack, dinner.
  • Have a consistent mealtime routine involving opportunities for positive adult role modelling and positive support for the child.
  • Offer an element of choice for example peas or carrots.
  • Allow and provide opportunities for the child to explore food texture with their hands.
  • Encourage positive interactions between child and adult to build confidence.
  • Keep pressure to eat low, especially when trying new foods.
  • Ensure that there are alternatives available at mealtimes and foods that suit a sensory preferences.
  • Plan carefully how the child will access meals and snacks to reduce stress and any pressure to eat.