In my profession as a Registered Dietitian I found the term “Sensory Diet” a bit odd. My first impression was, “so there is a type of nutrition regimen for SPD?” which was incorrect. (However, adequate nutrition therapy for children CAN help with sensory processing, which I plan to write about in a future blog post). The “diet” really stands for “something provided or experienced repeatedly” as we all tend to do when on a nutrition diet.
The best definition on Sensory Diet comes from the book, “The Out-of-Sync Child” by Carol Stock Kranowitz, MA. She states in her book a “Sensory Diet” is a “planned and scheduled activity program that a therapist develops to meet the needs of a specific child’s nervous system. It’s purpose is to help the child become better regulated and more focused, adaptable, and skillful.”
Just as the main food groups provide daily nutritional requirements for all of us, a daily sensory diet fulfills the tactile, vestibular, and proprioceptive nourishment a child with SPD needs but does not know how to get on their own. It includes a combination of altering, organizing, and calming activities.
Examples of Alerting activities:
Examples of Organizing activities:
Examples of Calming activities:
The best thing about these examples is they are easy to perform at home. Here are some quick guidelines to follow:
A great way to know what individual activities your child needs for their individual SPD, it’s always a good idea to have an Occupational Therapist (OT) who specializes in Sensory Integration (SI) do a complete evaluation. Here are some resources for you to find a local OTSI in your area:
1. Kranowitz, Carol “The Out-of-Sync Child”, Penguin Random House LLC (2005)
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