ARFID Awareness and SENSE-sational Food Project Training

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Avoidant restrictive food intake disorder, more commonly known as ARFID, is a condition characterised by the person avoiding certain foods or types of food, having restricted intake in terms of overall amount eaten, or both.

Someone might be avoiding and/or restricting their intake for a number of different reasons. The most common are the following: 

  • They might be very sensitive to the taste, texture, smell, or appearance of certain types of food, or only able to eat foods at a certain temperature. This can lead to sensory-based avoidance or restriction of intake
  • They may have had a distressing experience with food, such as choking or vomiting, or experiencing significant abdominal pain. This can cause the person to develop feelings of fear and anxiety around food or eating, and lead to them to avoiding certain foods or textures. Some people may experience more general worries about the consequences of eating that they find hard to put into words, and restrict their intake to what they regard as ‘safe’ foods. Significant levels of fear or worry can lead to avoidance based on concern about the consequences of eating
  • In some cases, the person may not recognise that they are hungry in the way that others would, or they may generally have a poor appetite. For them, eating might seem a chore and not something that is enjoyed, resulting in them struggling to eat enough. Such people may have restricted intake because of low interest in eating

It is very important to recognise that any one person can have one or more of these reasons behind their avoidance or restriction of food and eating at any one time. In other words, these examples are not mutually exclusive. This means that ARFID might look quite different in one person compared to another. Because of this, ARFID is sometimes described as an ‘umbrella’ term – it includes a range of different types of difficulty. Nevertheless, all people who develop ARFID share the central feature of the presence of avoidance or restriction of food intake in terms of overall amount, range of foods eaten, or both. 

This accredited one day course is designed to up-skill professionals working with and caregivers living with children and young adults displaying traits of ARFID (Avoidance/Restrictive Food Intake Disorder) and then to be able to deliver the Sense-sational food project.

What the course covers -

  • What is ARFID?
  • ARFID and lack of interest in food, trauma and food fear
  • Sensory and food
  • Homelife and ARFID
  • Reasonable adjustments
  • The SENSE-sational food project intro and assessments
  • Health and safety, Risk, Referral and Law


The project promotes FUN with FOOD and is unlike the support offered by feeding clinics. The focus is very much on ENJOYMENT and CREATIVITY not eating. Taking away the pressure of eating and focusing on what fun can be had with food, it makes them SAFE and MORE LIKELY to be EXPLORED Follow the fun food exploratory recipes and activities in each one of the booklets. Discover new food facts and cooking skills.

Complete challenges and collect an achievement award for each one. 

During the project, children will be encouraged to prepare and cook a wide range of different foods whilst introducing concepts around food hygiene, preparing food safely and learning about the importance of nutrition for the body and brain, as well as some fun facts about different foods.

What’s involved?

  • Preparing and Cooking Food
  • Sensory Food Play activities
  • Regular Support Check-ins (Group or Individual)
  • Online Group Sessions - Modelling play activities or cook along sessions

Resources available

  • Four initial purpose made recipe journals
  • Parent delivery guide
  • Sensory Food Play activity sheets with set up and approaches to enjoy
  • Videos of tips, ideas, play activities and cook along recipes
  • More recipe journals for when you are ready to explore further
  • Social Stories
  • Cooking Starter Kit
  • and much more

What makes this project different?

  • Prepared by someone who has experienced first hand food refusal and avoidant behaviours as well as restricted diet
  • Lead by expert with great knowledge and understanding of the “science” behind eating behaviours, as well as diet, food safety, hygiene and how to engage children with learning activities.
  • The whole family are encouraged to get involved with the project and enjoy having fun with food. This helps build a consistent approach and conversation around food.
  • Good knowledge of allergies, dietary intolerances and ability to adapt content and activities to suit – just ask during initial call.
  • Regular check-ins to support you implementing the project at home and to ask questions (often you have to wait weeks or months between sessions)
  • Sensory profile of your child provided and a short report to explain their sensory needs and how this could impact on their eating habits. Additional sensory needs support available on request.
  • Mini tutorials to explain different eating habits and the why behind eating behaviours. Topics such as why a beige diet, why stress stops eating, how to make mealtimes less of a sensory overload etc
  • Group check-ins to build a community feel so you feel less isolated, can share wins and challenges with others who understand!
  • Weekly online cook along or play along to boost commitment and support with any questions around activities, or for when your own sensory needs or confidence to cook mean you struggle to join in.

The project focuses bespoke support and understanding in a safe space with no judgement – I understand how anxious and worrying it can be to have a child who isn’t eating. This is not about hiding “good” food in the safe foods they already eat, it is about building tolerance to sensory triggers and creating a genuine enjoyment of food through fun play and cooking.

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Choose a highlighted date from the calendar to book on to this remote course. If you would like to discuss in-person training for your organisation, please contact