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Oral Sensory Toys for Sensory Sensitivities and Picky Eating |

Oral Sensory Toys for Sensory Sensitivities and Picky Eating

This article provides recommendations for oral sensory toys that help picky eaters and kids with sensory problems. Affiliate links are included for your convenience. Integrated Learning Strategies (ILS) is a learning and academic center. As a reminder, ILS is not a health care provider and none of our materials or services provide a diagnosis or treatment of a specific condition or learning challenge you may see in your child or student. If you seek a diagnosis or treatment for your child or student, please contact a trained professional who can provide an evaluation of the child.

One of the biggest complaints from parents is about their child’s picky eating. Babies often eat everything on their plate, but become very picky when they hit the toddler phase. Or, there are kids who have always been picky eaters from day one. Surprisingly, kids may never grow out of it.

Parents also become concerned when their child bites and chews furniture. Or, when they can’t stop sucking their shirts and sleeves. Believe it or not, the child is doing what they have to do to calm their oral sensory receptors to self-regulate.

Sensory Avoiders

Children with underdeveloped sensory systems often struggle with foods, textures and temperatures. This is why eating and mealtime can be so difficult. Kids with sensory sensitivities may dislike the texture of foods like oatmeal or prefer soft foods over crunchy. Smells and temperatures can also play a role in what a child eats. If the food is too hot or too spicy, kids may avoid these types of flavors altogether. You may find these types of kids stick to only three to four items at every meal and refuse to try anything new.

Sensory Seekers

Kids who are sensory seekers may be on the opposite side of the spectrum. They may crave foods with extreme flavors and temperatures. These types of kids often seek out foods that provide them with intense salty, sweet or spicy flavors. In addition, they may want crunchy foods and often suck on their shirts or clothing. They need constant sensory stimulation when it comes to their oral sensory receptors. You may also notice them chewing objects, biting or drooling because they need to have something in their mouth to calm their body.

If your child or students have oral sensory needs, it may also be attributed to retained Primitive Reflexes. Several retained Primitive Reflexes could be causing oral sensory defensiveness or sensory seeking behaviors.

Oral Sensory Toys

No matter if you have a child or student who is a sensory seeker or a sensory avoider, there are ways to improve their oral sensory cravings. Sensory toys and sensory activities can help awaken the sensory receptors in a child’s mouth to help them regulate what their body needs to stay calm. 

Depending on your child or students’ needs, you can decide what toys and foods may work best for their oral sensory needs. Here are a few of our recommendations that give kids opportunities to self-regulate and support their sensory systems. Many times, these objects will help prevent fidgeting and attention issues in the classroom. The goal is to help stimulate the oral sensory receptors so the child can focus on learning instead of what they need to calm their body.

Integrated Learning Strategies is a Utah-based center dedicated to helping mainstream children and children with learning challenges achieve academic success. Our services provide kids with non-traditional tutoring programs within the Davis County, Kaysville, Layton, Syracuse, Farmington, and Centerville areas. Areas to find Integrated Learning Strategies include: Reading tutors in Kaysville, Math tutors in Kaysville, Common Core Tutors in Kaysville, Tutors in Utah, Utah Tutoring Programs

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