Celebrate with 8 the Plate

February 12, 2019 - Morgan McClellan

Celebrate with 8 the Plate

By Morgan McClellan, Marketing Coordinator

“Fill the eight, spin the plate, celebrate!”

What is great about 8 the Plate?

Anesa and her husband are the founders of 8 the Plate

8 the Plate is designed for the pickiest of eaters. With Behavior Analysis in mind, 8 the Plate aims to “promote, teach and reinforce healthy eating habits in your little ones.” At times, encouraging a child with autism to eat healthy foods can present challenges. 8 the Plate provides a solution that is both entertaining and interactive.

Former Cornerstone employee and BCBA Anesa Doyle invented this helpful tool to make meal time more reinforcing for children with autism. This year, Doyle donated and delivered two plates to Cornerstone Autism Center for our clients to experience during food programs. Thanks to Doyle, our clients are able to explore healthy food options in a new, exciting way.

“Cornerstone Autism Center thoroughly appreciates the collaboration with Anesa and the use of her product, 8 the Plate,” said Holly Barszcz, MA, BCBA and Clinical Director. “We have been able to utilize the plate to promote independence in mealtime activities, allow children to increase their options of foods they will consume, and present healthier choices. This product helps therapists use behavior analytic principles in a way that combats mealtime challenges through a fun and innovative method.”

Tips and Tricks

The plate has 8 sections total. The first two spins of the plate begin with neutral foods the child will eat. On the third spin, the plate transitions into something new — a food you want him or her to try. After the new item is presented, there is a reward/treat in the following section. It repeats this pattern again and ends with a reinforcing item.

In this example plate, we have the items as follows:

  • Fruit Snacks – neutral food
  • Mac ‘n Cheese- neutral food
  • Blueberries – something new
  • Lemon Candy – treat
  • Granola Bar – neutral food
  • Veggie Straws – neutral food
  • Orange Slice – something new
  • Thin Mint Cookie – treat

Every child has different taste and texture preferences. One child may find mac ‘n cheese to be the most reinforcing item on the plate, while another may be trying mac ‘n cheese for the first time. Our behavior analysts decide the best approach for the placement of these food items.

Interested in a food program?

Cornerstone Autism Center has had great success with implementing food programs for clients who now eat a greater variety of foods. Cornerstone families can contact their child’s BCBA to see if a food program would be appropriate for them at this time. We also encourage families to schedule a meeting with our Parent Liaison and Certified Health Coach as well. Our Health Coach can help Cornerstone families brainstorm new snack and meal ideas, kid-friendly recipes and healthier alternatives to their child’s current favorite foods.

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February 12, 2019, Morgan McClellan

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