Sentidos e Sabores (Senses and Flavors) promotes food education for people with autism and their families
About the project
With the purpose of promoting food and nutrition education for people with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and their families, the Senses and Flavors project took place in partnership with Instituto BRF, uniting workshops with about the cause of people with disability (PwD).
To develop the stages of the project, we invited Escola Especial Alternativa (Special Alternative School), ASID Network of Institutions that serves 98 people with ASD and develops projects in the food area for their students’ development.
The theme of "Food for people who have ASD" was chosen because we understand the importance of the influence of food on gastrointestinal and behavioral issues of people with ASD. The project included two macro deliveries: Awareness Workshops and Ensina na Cozinha (Teach in the Kitchen).
The Workshops were projected for the families of people with autism in order to bring information on the topic, raising awareness and passing on some tips.
To carry out the Workshops, BRF volunteers participated in a 1h30 training session with nutritionist Adriana Siqueira, a researcher and professional in the area. Main topics covered were: Food Restriction and Food Variability.
After the training, volunteers received the necessary materials for content studies to be passed on to the families. In the action, the volunteers participated as speakers, stafs, photographers and ceremonialists and had the opportunity to get to know the Escola Alternativa, the cause of the person with autism and had contact with the families to learn about their realities.
Workshop I - Food Restrictions
In training with the nutritionist, the volunteers learned about dietary restrictions for people with ASD and the importance of food to assist in the care of behavioral and intestinal issues.
In this workshop, more dynamic activities were carried out, leading family members to think about the change in food over time and the reflection of this in the body. In addition, they gave tips on food substitution and how to insert healthier foods into their daily lives.
Workshop II - Variability in Food
In this stage, volunteers taught the families about Food Selectivity, very common in people with ASD, and tips on good practices to bring food closer and make the meal a pleasant moment.
The volunteers showed how the contact of the autistic people with new foods can be made, removing the obligation to eat the same, thus practicing the approach and increasing the probability of that person to insert this food in their meals.
Teach in the Kitchen
Teach in the Kitchen aims to provide the social experience of inclusion between volunteers and people with disabilities. It’s a corporate volunteer action that seeks to develop the skills and competences of both groups. Under the guidance ofChefs, volunteers and people with disabilities learn one or more recipes.
For the Senses & Flavors project, we invite Chefs Giulie Amaral and Clari Penha, owners of Bake It, an ASID partner bakery. The choice of Bake It was precisely to combine the tips given in the workshops with the line of work of the confectionery, which sells vegan foods. Together with the students, Chefs, teachers and volunteers produced fruit smoothies and Cupcakes gluten and lactose free.
Data and testimonials
- 94 hours of volunteering
- 16 family members of disabled people participating
- 13 People with disabilities
- 9.2 of volunteers’ satisfaction with the program
- 12 BRF volunteers participating
Exchange of information, interaction with people who go through different situations on a daily basis than we are used to.VOLUNTEER TESTIMONY
The workshop is very good, important knowledge to maintain the food balance of the person with ASD and for the whole family.FAMILY MEMBER OF THE PERSON WITH ASD
Actions like these promote high interaction and socialization between families, people with disabilities and volunteers. In the workshops, volunteers had the opportunity to get to know family members of people with autism up close and the need and urgency they have to know more about the cause of ASD.
Teach in the Kitchen was an action for overcoming PwD perception and ability, as well as the integration of students with the rest of the community on a different day from the school routine.
The 3 actions generated in the volunteer’s empathy with the cause of PwD, mainly in relation to people with ASD, through the breaking of barriers in practice and awareness of those involved.
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