An effective eater has the ability to be situated in a stable sitting position, while having the attention span and appetite to focus on the task.
An effective eater has the motor planning to pick up a utensil, locate their food, and use the utensil appropriately to bring the food to their mouth.
An effective eater has the coordination of chewing and swallowing food while breathing in between bites.
An effective eater has the cognitive and physical skills of organizing the various tastes and textures in foods.
To this day, this simple task of eating has always been a challenge for Bella:
- Bella’s fine and gross motor skills are comparable to a toddler. Holding a fork while visually locating the food to make contact is a multi-step process.
Bella is always seeking sensory input through banging and spinning objects. Sitting at a table for a meal requires the accompanying adult to be prepared for spilled drinks, flying plates, utensils, and food on the floor.
Bella continues to go through sensory aversions where she seeks specific textures in her foods. From age 4 to 6, I was making batches of peanut butter and grilled cheese sandwiches every 2 days for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Today she is bringing it home to her Asian roots, where a big bowl of fried rice is her meal of choice.