Dr.'s Helen Coulthard and Vicki Aldridge, researchers in eating behaviour at De Montfort University, who specialise in sensory sensitivity and feeding problems have designed a visually engaging sensory play toolkit.
The toolkit is for parents and children to use when children are struggling with picky/fussy/avoidant eating, and where sensory sensitivity may be playing an important role.
The researchers have found that playing fun and imaginative sensory games help children to become familiar with a range of food and non-food substances, can help food acceptance in the long run. The toolkit is a booklet, which is divided into three sections. Firstly, you are encouraged to think about your child’s reactions to foods, food textures, and the sensory world; you will be able to record these in the booklet. Secondly, we provide a guide on how to carry out sensory play, with a range of suggested games and space to create your own games. Lastly, when your child is ready, we have a guide on how best to introduce tasting/licking foods.
Said Dr.'s Helen Coulthard and Vicki Aldridge, "We really hope that this will be a useful handbook for parents and children, and will encourage children to engage with food and non food substances in a fun, positive, and imaginative way."
The toolkit can be accessed and downloaded for free from the webpage - https://sensoryplaytoolkit.weebly.com. The download asks you to register some basic information, such as the child’s age and country of origin, so that they can gauge who is using the toolkit. You will then also be given the option of being contacted to evaluate the toolkit, which will enter you into a free prize draw.