The term “diet” can be stereotyped as dietary restrictions, a definitive nutrition program or a tool to impede weight gain. However, a “Sensory Diet” does not fall into any of these categories.
A sensory diet is a carefully designed, personalized activity plan that provides the sensory input a person needs to stay focused and organized throughout the day. Take a minute and think about how many times you eat in a day. Maybe it’s three, four, five or six times during the day. Just like regular eating times, children who have sensory processing difficulties need blocks of time throughout the day to focus their nervous system. A sensory diet can help children, who are over aroused or even under aroused, feel more attentive, more alert and better able to cope in their environment.
Professional intervention, in terms of an individualized sensory diet, can help your child handle daily transitions with less stress, reduce unwanted behaviours and regulate their daily emotions. When children are hungry, we feed them food. When children feel wiggly, lethargic or anxious, we “feed” them a sensory diet! Stay tuned for an upcoming blog and you will learn more about the exercises, activities, toys and equipment that will provide a “just right diet” to meet your child’s sensory needs.
By: Larissa Jones, University of Guelph-Humber Placement Student
More information at: “What is a sensory diet.” Sensory Diet. Kid Sense Child Development Corporation Pty Ltd, 2016. Web.
All student posts are reviewed by a supervising Occupational Therapist at Toronto Children’s Therapy Center. Toronto Children’s Therapy Center is appreciative of the time and research placement students commit to in writing posts for our blog.