Snacks for the Sensory Seeker

Guest Authored By Grace M, M.S. OTR/L

Blue Bird Day and Girl eating apple

Many of our sensory seeking children self-regulate by chewing or sucking on non-food items. Chewing on their shirt sleeve or sucking on their fingers helps to organize, calm, soothe, and regulate their sensory systems. Providing a chewy necklace or bracelet is a great way to feed their sensory system, but there are also certain snacks that you can feed their bodies to help them regulate too! 

Crunchy snacks provide a lot of pressure input to the jaw. These snacks include:  

Blue Bird Day and snacks for a sensory eater

  • Nuts 
  • Thick or hard granola bars 
  • Apples, pears, carrot sticks, cucumbers 
  • Pretzels 
  • Crackers 
  • Ice chips 
  • Rice cakes 
  • Bagel or pita chips 
  • Graham crackers 
  • Dry cereal 

Chewy snacks promote an increased rate of chewing as well as providing a lot of input. Some examples of these snacks are: 

  • Fruit snacks 
  • Fruit leather 
  • Dried fruit 
  • Raisins 
  • Chewy mini bagels 
  • Gum 
  • Sausage sticks or beef jerky 

Sucking on snacks and drinks also provides great resistance in the mouth for sensory seekers. Try these ideas: 

Blue Bird Day and snacks for a sensory eater

  • Drinking liquids through a crazy straw or small coffee stirrer straw 
  • Drinking a smoothie or yogurt through a regular straw 
  • Sucking on apple sauce or yogurt squeeze pouches 
  • Sucking on hard mints 

 Next time you give your little sensory seeker a snack, try one of these to nourish both their bodies and sensory systems!