If you read my blog regularly, you’ll know Smh son has Autism. One thing he struggles with is food. He will only eat dry food which is crunchy, and will refuse to eat everything on his plate if anything which doesn’t fit his specifications is on the plate alongside his “acceptable” foods.
The team over at Winslow Resources sent us a Happy Mat Segmented Plate to see if it helped Sam cope with new foods on his plate and if he tried any of the new foods offered.
The mat “sticks” securely to surfaces to prevent unwanted knocks, spillages and to thwart potential meltdowns or tantrums. It is dishwasher safe and suitable for children aged 6 Months and over. These mats retail at £24.95 each, excluding VAT or £29.95 each with VAT. The mat is Dishwasher, Microwave and oven safe (upto 350f / 170c / Gas Mark 4). We haven’t used ours in the oven or microwave, but it has been through the dishwasher a good 20 times and still looks brand new. The Happy Mat measures around 38×25.5cm and the “face” is raised about 2cm, to keep the foods separate.
When we first introduced the Happy Mat Segmented Plate, we gave Sam his favourite foods in the main section and he usually refuses in the other sections. For the first couple of days, he ignored the broccoli. On day 3, he touched the broccoli and played with it a little. He ripped a small piece off and tasted it too. He wouldn’t eat it all, but he tried it and it didn’t stop him eating the rest of his meal as it would have done on a “normal” plate.
We use the mat to introduce new foods, and also to keep slightly wetter items away from dry ones. He has bagel for breakfast, and I added sliced Apple to the eyes for him. He didn’t touch the apple for a couple of days, but will now happily eat apple alongside his bagel at breakfast time. (Pictured above).
All told, we are very happy with the Happy Mat Segmented Plate, and I feel it has made a big difference to the way Sam reacts to new foods. I’d definitely recommend it.
We were sent the Happy Mat to review, but all words and opinions are my own.