Does your kid chew their sleeves til it is wet and soggy too? Or stuff their entire hand in their mouth? Believe it or not these are effective ways of self regulating, as it engages one of the stronger muscle in the body, the jaw muscle, in regular motion. Many of our children are sensory seeking, especially orally so.
Keeping blood sugar levels on an even keel is key. So this page is filled with mainly edible ideas for oral stimulation. The mum who complied these ideas (as they worked for her son) recommend a snack or meal every two hours. Beware of sugar intake, and that the beneficial effect of chewing can wear off if you rely too much on one type of snack.
You can play with textures, tastes and temperature.
Have fun exploring! And let us know if you have ideas you think we should add to the page.
Smaller cucumbers is a recent find for me. Perhaps it is the size and the harder skin that makes them better than simple cucumber sticks. But the difference is discernible. I hand them out at play dates to all kids in the house. Keep things calm for ... 5-10mins.
A small cup of frozen peas is a great snack. Small things to pick at, and the cold is good. Very orally satisfying.
The old farmer knew a thing of two about sensory integration.
Like frozen pea, this is a great sensory oral motor snack.
Yup - it can be that easy. If your kids (or you?) like strong tastes, try drizzling with some lemon.
Many fresh fruit works well, but apple perhaps the best. Biting into a whole apple is great. Though slices go down easier for some.
You know just what this feels like, no?
This is probably the most chewy dried fruit. Go for the most chewy you can find. The softer versions are not as satisfying and does not give the jaw the proper work out, i.e. not as effective as a regulator.
It's a sweet tasting stick. Can last for days, if you keep trimming it.
Yes, it's smelly, chewy, fishy ...
Very salty dried beef. Very satisfying for some.
My son loves crushing ice cubes between his teeth.
You can pop fruit or mint leaves into the tray if you like.
Drinking through a straw can also be calming. Make sure the liquid is a little hard to draw up through the straw. Think milk and yogurt 1:1 or a smoothie. These straws are biodegradable. If you want to avoid plastic, paper and steel straws are good alternatives. Or you can try pasta! Bucatini is about the right size.
Yes. Chewing gum. Very regulatory. This type is aspartane-free.