The Eating Game was invented for a little boy with autism who needed structure, routine and visual supports to help him gain and be in control in his environment.
Does that sound to you like many children with ASD?
This little boy had also learned that one way he could control and be in control in the eating environments in his life was to restrict the number of foods he wanted so he would know what he would be having to eat – no surprises! A strategy that worked for him.
Does this sound like a child you know with ASD?
So The Eating Game set out to give him and many others structure, routine, visual supports, control and predictability; all while providing for a variety of healthy food choices that met the dietary recommendations for specific age groups (2-3, 4-8, 9-13, 14-18).
He named it a “game” because he said it was FUN! Kids love games and having fun. I saw “GAME” as an acronym for Get Awesome Meals Everyday! So, a game it was and he has continued to enjoy using it for years now.
In 15 months he was eating over 200 new foods, almost everything. He still wanted to use it everyday because then he was in control of the choices and meals/snacks were predictable. His parents called it a SUCCESS, as did many more after that, because he was making healthy choices, learning to enjoy a wider variety of foods; plus he was seldom sick anymore and family mealtime was no longer a battle ground. With him happily eating meals with the family, food choices no longer an issue*, they were now able to address the social issues surrounding family mealtimes that can be problematic for a child on the spectrum. He could join in conversations, helped serve the meal and clean up afterwards!
Everyone wins with this game!
* soon his food choices became the basics of the family meal and why not? The choices were healthy ones, good for the whole family and now only one meal was being prepared for the whole family. My little friend liked that!