Why does my child have meltdowns when we eat out?
Because they are struggling.
Eating out with kids that have feeding problems can be super stressful! Sometimes it doesn't even feel worth it to eat out considering all the extra food and toys you need to prepare and pack, let alone the mental prep necessary.
I know I know understanding the underlying sensory processing/anxiety induced issues doesn't make it any easier to deal with. But I found that taking the time to see things from their perspective better equipped me to handle the meltdowns to support my child. Instead of taking it personaly (everyone's going to think I'm a terrible parent, have you been there?) I tried my best to prepare for the anticipated challenges. Here are a few tips:
🍜talk about the change in schedule/location
🍕play restaurant at home
🌭read books about families eating out
🍲prepare one "safe" food to bring along
🥗say how excited you are to see food that might look, taste, smell slightly different!