top of page
Expand Your Palette Packet for Dietitians and Health Care Providers

Expand Your Palette Packet for Dietitians and Health Care Providers


Sensory processing impacts food selection tremendously throughout our lives. For people with intellectual and developmental disabilities sensory processing, along with common oral motor tone and planning issues, is often a huge barrier to being a food adventurer. Sometimes these issues aren’t big enough to warrant concern about the amount of food. But do they play into the types of food choices?


Sometimes sensory issues become an immense barrier to food choices creating a limited list of acceptable foods. It’s often hard to find a feeding team with availability to deal with anything but the most extreme concerns. For older children, teens and adults, it’s often accepted as “just the way it’s going to be.”


What’s a dietitian to do?


Here’s help.


The Practical Sensory Activities Packet for Dietitians includes three tools for your use in your clinic or practice:


Moving Ahead with Food: Matching Oral Motor Skills to Food Textures.  

This easy to use handout pairs chewing development with the types of foods to offer without reference to age.  It’s a helpful tool for people of any age, offering an idea of why a person needs to be careful with the types of foods chosen.


My Tasting Journal: Keeping Track of Foods I Try.
This electronic book is a great tool for working with groups or individuals on trying new foods. Teach parents or individuals with disabilities to be “food scientists” and describe the sensory components of foods. To provide some guidance to this process, I’ve included two sets of articles:

  • Coaching Clips: Expand Your Palate Issue
  • Disability Solutions, focus topic: Choice.


The Food A-Like Worksheet.
This worksheet is designed to provide structure to how to choose new foods to try for children and adults who experience limited food choices. It’s best used as a decision making tool for a tasting experience, but can also be used as a way to choose foods to introduce at the family meal.  The instructions included guide you through the process with parents or support providers.


Each of these tools provides a different peek at the process of working through sensory defensiveness and foods. Clearly, they are not the only answer. They are not at all intended to replace a feeding team, speech therapy, or as a diagnostic tool in any way. They are designed as educational activities to provide sensory-related experiences that may expand the foods a person will eat.

  • File Type

    This download is zipped. Open the zipped folder and Extract the files to a folder on your computer. 

    The tools are packaged in a PDF Portfolio. When you open the file, you will see a scroll bar at the bottom and what look like images of each product.  

    Click on an image. You can now do a few things:

    1. You will see the arrow to download on the right. 

    2. Double click the image for a preview. A download arrow will be on the bottom of the preview image when you over your mouse over it. 

    If you have trouble, drop me a note at or through the form on this web site. 

  • Using these files

    You are welcome to use these files as a part of your work. You may NOT use them in a presentation or workshop without further permission. Please contact me at before using any part of these products in written handouts, slides, or for workshops. 

bottom of page