A sensory diet is a tailored plan of physical activities and accommodations designed to meet a child’s sensory needs. This type of treatment has nothing to do with food. The goal is to get kids in a “just right” state.
What does that mean? For kids who tend to get overstimulated, a sensory diet will include activities that help them come down from an overloaded state and feel calm. Kids who feel or seem sluggish will do activities to help them feel more alert.
Having the right sensory input helps kids pay attention in school, learn new skills, and socialize with other kids. But not all kids are able to recognize when they’re not in a “just right” state. Using a sensory diet regularly can help kids build that self-awareness.
Usually, an Occupational Therapist designs a child’s sensory diet and uses it during therapy sessions. The more kids practice, the better. So parents and caregivers should use the sensory diet at home, too. Teachers can also do some of the activities in school.
Adults with sensory processing issues may benefit from the types of activities in a sensory diet, too. Typically a sensory diet is a plan used to help kids who are struggling.