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    Tips For Navigating Food Preferences and Dietary Restrictions With Foster Children

    Tips For Navigating Food Preferences and Dietary Restrictions With Foster Children

    Do you have a foster child in your care with food preferences and dietary restrictions?

    Do you want to be sure you are making the kind of meals they enjoy and that they can eat?

    Navigating any sort of food preferences and restrictions can be tricky, as it can take a fair amount of creativity on your part. However, rather than struggle in the kitchen, here are some simple tips you can follow that will help ensure your foster child enjoys and can eat the meals you make.

    Write It Down – Make Sure You Don’t Get Confused

    Before you can start looking into creative recipes and tips, you must be clear on the food preferences and dietary restrictions that the child in your care has. If they are old enough to communicate these preferences to you, then you can speak to them about food. If not, be sure to get the information from your fostering agency such as

    However, rather than keep that information stored in your head where it can be easy to forget, put it down in writing. Make a list of any food preferences, intolerances or restrictions that they have. This list can then be posted somewhere where the entire household can see it so everyone is on the same page. Keep in mind that the list may need to be fluid as preferences and restrictions change.

    Use a Meal Plan and Make Mealtimes Easy

    Using a meal plan can be one of the biggest changes you make in terms of cooking and preparing food. A meal plan takes away the common question of, “what should I make for dinner?”, as it has already been decided. You can create a weekly meal plan, or if you feel bold, why not make a monthly meal plan?

    There are several meal planning apps you can use that will help you keep things organised, or you can write meals down on the calendar or a homemade chart so everyone can see what’s coming up. Meal time will also be helpful in terms of grocery shopping as you will pick up the items you need for that particular meal(s) or week, rather than trying to make sense of the ingredients you have on hand and make something out of them.

    Ask for Their Feedback – Keep Them Involved

    Be sure to also ask for feedback from foster kids, what they like or dislike about the meal, if there is anything they would change and so forth. If they have food intolerances, you may wish to keep a food journal so you’re aware of how they react to different foods and ingredients. This can help identify things you’ll want to avoid in the future.

    Keep Things Fun and Introduce Variety

    The final tip is to keep mealtimes fun, regardless of how many dietary restrictions the child may have. Mealtimes shouldn’t be about stress, but something to look forward to. Variety should also be embraced so they don’t get tired of the same thing.

    Using these tips, embracing creativity, and adopting a positive approach to meal planning means everyone will benefit.

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    Tips For Navigating …

    by Jennifer Smith Time to read this article: 7 min