In Autism therapy, we use a lot of what’s called social stories. Going to the doctor? Let’s read books, tell stories, and watch shows that feature going to the doctor. Learning about potty training? Having a babysitter over? Learning to share toys? Same story.
It’s a great strategy for almost all children, whether they’re typical or have special needs. It’s simply a great way to get a conversation going, bring up a topic, and help it be familiar enough to reduce stress and anxiety. Sophie’s a very visual learner, so shows tend to work really well for her. A lot of preschooler shows these days are actually set up to act this way. Our favorite is Daniel Tiger’s Neighborhood on PBS. We don’t have tv, so we watch episodes online through Amazon Prime, and it’s been a great way to decrease her anxiety when we try something new or need to practice a skill. As far as kids shows go, this one’s not super annoying and has these cute little songs you can use with your kids for reminders. One of our favorites is “You gotta try new food, ’cause it might taste good”
Well, friends, when it comes to feeding tiny humans, sometimes marketing is everything. Daniel Tiger’s eating Veggie Spaghetti (spaghetti with vegetable sauce) and Banana Swirl (frozen banana smoothie) for dessert? Done. We do too!
I’ve made this a few weeks in a row, which doesn’t happen that often. Sophie requests “beggie sketti” regularly, and (even though she won’t eat the sauce most of the time), we’re working on trying things over and over again.
Sophie loves stirring vegetables in a large bowl. I chop everything up, let her scoop it from the cutting board into a big bowl and mix it to her heart’s content. While she’s busy mixing away, I get a little brown rice pasta cooking, and heat a drizzle of olive oil in a pan. The sauce takes just a few minutes to pull together and she feels like the luckiest, coolest person ever eating Veggie Spaghetti JUST like Daniel Tiger… even if she ended up picking out all her vegetables. Again, the idea is exposure, exposure, exposure.We keep trying new foods, and eventually, we’ll get there.
Oh, and if you don’t have little eaters at your house, this is still a great meal for grown ups too. I like scooping a bowl of sauce and putting a poached or fried egg on top. It’s simple, but flavorful, and the crisp-tender veggies are a great addition. You can also try cooking up some chicken sausage on the side to spice things up.Print