This week’s posts are all about liquids, the last texture in this series where I’ve been posting about foods and food-play activities categorized by texture. Liquid (and the water in liquids) is important for everything our body does. We need to stay hydrated for all of our body systems to work well.
This is a balance because we also need to be aware that dinks fill kids up, even water, but especially drinks like milk that have a lot of calories even though they can have important nutrients like calcium (milk) and vitamins (juices). So timing of drinks and amounts of drinks we give kids are really important. We can’t expect a child to eat a whole dinner after drinking 8 oz. of milk.
Sometimes kids can look like picky eaters when they only drink milk and refuse food, but really, they’re just full of milk so they’re not learning about and trying foods. Hunger is why we eat.. If kids aren’t hungry, they’re not going to eat.
But then, kids often ask for drinks like milk when they’re hungry. For all kids, but especially for those with low oral tone, drinking is a lot easier than chewing, so milk for dinner can seem really comforting and appealing.
Like with everything else there is a fine line here for picking your battles. Sometimes they’re going to be tired and just need a smoothie for dinner. Save yourself the fight. But at times when you want them to work on chewing skills, just knowing that they’re asking for the easier option can make that tantrum make sense, so when you hold your ground and say tonight is a ‘chewing dinner,’ they can feel more understood.!
This said, I love drinks (and often have a smoothie for breakfast when I can’t handle a full-on chewing breakfast)! They’re refreshing, delicious, vital to hydration, a great way to get nutrition and a great way to work on oral motor skills through straw drinking as explained by Melanie Potock, MA, CCC-SLP from My Munch Bug and reposted by Speech and Feeding Solutions.
I hope you enjoy this week’s posts on drinks!