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Here we have a sample sensory diet. Please note that each child’s sensory diet should be created in conjunction with the therapy team and be tailored to meet each individual child’s needs.

EXAMPLE: Let’s take Hope for example. Hope is a 3 year old girl demonstrating signs of tactile defensiveness as well as some vestibular sensory seeking behaviors. Hope struggles with increasing the variety of foods she eats as she mainly eats dry cereal, chicken nuggets, crackers, and milk. She also struggles with engaging in seated tasks like coloring, playing
simple card games with the family, and staying near her parents in public. Hope
spends her days at childcare 5 days a week. After examining Hope’s routines and
finding the times she struggles most, the parents, preschool teacher, and Hope’s
OT had a group meeting and came up with the following sensory diet.

  • 6:30 am – Wake up
  • 6:30 – 6:45 – Hope plays in the living room and usually does well entertaining herself
    as she seems to calm at this time of day.
  • 6:45 – 7:00 – Breakfast. Prior to sitting down, the family will get Hope dressed
    and provide her with

    • Lotion rub , massage with vibrating massager on her arms and legs, or complete pillow squishes
    • While eating breakfast, Hope will be encouraged to put her new weighted lap pad on her lap or across her shoulders.
  • 7:00- 7:30 – More play time before leaving for preschool. Hope tends to get into
    trouble this time of day as she gets into places she’s not supposed to. Try heavy
    work tasks to help with organization.

    • Push weighted laundry basket around upstairs bedrooms while parents finish getting ready
    • Roll 8 lb medicine ball around bedroom
    • Help water indoor plants with gallon jug
  • 7:30- 8:00 – transition to Preschool
  • 8:00 – 8:15 – Greeting time at preschool. Hope struggles keep hands to self and
    staying her carpet square during first part of her day at preschool.

    • Give Hope a heavy work job to complete immediately each morning.
      • Help put books (heavy textbooks, not childnre’s books) away onto shelves as part
        of helping get the room ready for the day
      • Carrying a bucket of toys from one class to another
      • Wash window / chalk board / dry erase, encouraging her to use strong, forceful movements when cleaning.
  • 8:15 – 9:00 – Recess or Gym. Encourage opportunities for Hope to do the following:
    • Swing on swingset
    • Hang on monkey bars
    • Jumping on trampoline
  • 9:00 – 9:15 – Morning snack
    • Expose Hope to foods with multiple textures – things the other children are eating.
    • Provide Hope with very chewy, crunchy foods to help give her good proprioceptive input into her jaw.
      • Granola
      • Chewy bagel
      • Big hard pretzel
  • 9:15-10:00 – Craft time
    • Have Hope complete a heavy work / calming task before sitting down
      • Chair push up
      • Completing the “job” they she has in the morning
      • Rolling on top of therapy ball
    • Weighted product
      • Let Hope wear her lap pad from home
      • Consider use of weighted vest or compression vest
  • 10:00 – 10:30 – Free play. Hope usually does well at this time.
  • 10:30 – 10:45 – Bathroom break. Again, Hope transitions well
  • 10:45 – 11:15 – Music, Art, or Computer time. Hope struggles still at these times
    with remaining seated. Incorporate same tasks as from Craft time.
  • 11:15 – 11:45 – Lunch. Incorporate same tasks as from snack time.
  • 12:00 – 2:30 – Nap. Hope sometimes struggles falling asleep but does well remaining

    • Allow use of weighted lap pad.
    • Allow use of hand held vibrating toy if not too distracting for other students as this has been a positive form of calming input for Hope in the past.
  • 2:30 – 3:00 – Gym time. Incorporate same tasks from Recess time.
  • 3:30 pick up. Hope transitions well to her parents.
  • 4:00 – 5:30. Errands, play time at home. Hope can be “wild” when the family first
    gets home.

    • Allow Hope to use the porch swing or jump on the trampoline in back yard
    • Ride trike or scooter
  • 5:45 – 6:15 Family dinner.
    • Allow Hope to feed new and unfamiliar foods to dolls, other family members, keeping the activity fun.
    • Provide one food that she can play with – for example, put a scoop of mashed potatoes on the tray and encourage Hope to just play with it with her fingers, spoon, and fork.
    • Continue to encourage Hope to try new foods every night.
  • 6:15- 7:00 Bath time and pj’s. Hope usually does well.
  • 7:00 – 7:30 family used to watch TV, but has been encouraged to replace TV with
    quiet activity such as books or coloring or block play to help Hope best prepare
    for bed.
  • 7:30 Bed time.