25% of people dislike eating the skin of fruit. Are you one?


Parents often consult Occupational Therapists when trying to address their children’s picky eating habits. The parents’ most common concerns typically include:

  • refusal to eat yoghurt with whole fruit pieces
  • gagging when they attempt to eat fruit with pips
  • avoiding unpeeled fruit
  • not tolerating different foods on their plate touching
  • strong dislike for any lumps in food

Their reaction to this seemingly bizarre behaviour is often accompanied by eye-rolling, deep sighs, and a hopeful…”Surely, they’ll grow out of it, right?”  Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Many people carry these picky eating habits into adulthood. Their behaviour doesn’t disappear, they don’t learn to cope with it and they sure don’t grow out of it. They often need to explain why they are “so full of nonsense” when it comes to food choices.

If you are one of them, you are not alone. There are many more picky eaters out there, even famous ones… http://pickyeatingadults.com/index.php/famous-picky-eaters/

The reason for this fussiness can possibly be a low threshold for tactile input, especially in and around the oral area. The sense of touch is one of our first senses to develop and plays a big role in how we react to the world. For a person with a low threshold, the inside of their mouth gets bombarded with various textures at the same time (imagine a mixed fruit salad). The message from their brain is:

  • I’m being overloaded with sensory input,
  • I’m struggling to filter through and process all the information being received at once,
  • Something drastic needs to happen to restore balance and harmony in the nervous system!

Their body’s reaction: gagging, spitting or simply refusing any more input… they become FUSSY! It is difficult to logically explain this to others, because it is not a logical decision being made, but a subconscious reaction from their nervous system. And their bodies have no option but to obey what the brain demands of it.

So how do we address these picky eating habits?

Luckily as an adult, you can be in charge of your life (and food choices). The key is to know which foods are triggers for you and replace them with alternatives.  Examples of preferred alternatives to the norm might be:

 Apple → Peeled apple

          Fresh mango and pawpaw → Dried mango and pawpaw

     Grapes → Seedless grapes

Fruit salad → One fruit at a time

Fresh figs → Fig jam

      Nartjies → Seedless nartjies

Kiwi → Kiwi juice

Life is about choices, so use your food choices to your advantage.  First, we eat, then we do everything else. 


 Isn’t it time you find out what your senses are trying to tell you?

  1. If you would like to learn more about your own sensory assessment, do our short FREE Sensory Quiz™.
  2. For a comprehensive 26-page report with tips and strategies on how to reduce stress and live a productive, healthy and happy life visit Sensory Matrix™.
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59% of people turn up the volume. Are you one?

Hearing is one of our primary senses and our ears are constantly switched on – day and night. We live in a world filled with constant sounds filtering through our homes and offices. Household appliances and office equipment add to the ever-present hustle and bustle of daily life. Our hearing is important in order to communicate, interact and learn about what is happening. But the thing is, it is not a sense that we are able to switch off, even when we are asleep. Think of how often a strange noise will wake you up in the middle of the night.

There is a growing body of research that confirms that the right music, at the right time, can be both healing and soothing. Dr Alfred Tomatis was a pioneer in identifying the physiological ways of listening and hearing. Currently, there are many references to the benefits of therapeutic listening.

Whether a person has a high or low tolerance for noise, music is the one thing we have to calm an overwhelmed and overloaded auditory system. Each person has his or her preference to what works for them, but it is widely accepted that those with low thresholds to sound should choose music that will calm and organise the brain for functioning.

Think of Mozart, Gregorian chants and that beautiful soft music one hears when going to the spa. It immediately takes you to a different place. Then on the other spectrum, think of the music played in gyms and how that adds to the way in which one works out.

If you are a person with a low threshold to sounds in your environment, the following avoiding strategies can be used to help you:

  • Wear earplugs to reduce sounds.
  • Wear headphones and listen to calming music.
  • Avoid noisy environments such as busy shopping malls during peak times.
  • If in your own office, close the door to reduce noise from outside.
  • Close windows to reduce outdoor sounds.
  • Put a carpet on the floor.
  • Turn down the volume of the television or radio.
  • Take a quiet/time-out break – identify a quiet area that helps you relax and get away from the noisy environment.
  • Lower the amount of noise during busy times – switch off or mute your telephone, lower the volume of the radio or television.

If you are a person with a high threshold and tolerance for sounds and thrive on having sounds when working, then the following strategies will work for you:

  • Music, music and more music
  • Audiobooks
  • Social gatherings and discussions
  • Humming, whistling and singing
  • Having the radio or television on
  • Reading out loud
  • Attending a concert or live show

Music is a powerful tool – we all have that list of songs and music that makes us feel good about ourselves and the world we live in. Kahlil Gibran wrote that “music is the language of the Spirit, It opens the secret of life, bringing peace, abolishing strife”.  Go on, download your favourite pieces of music and turn the volume to what is best for YOU!

Find out whether you have a low or high threshold for sound:
Do our FREE Sensory Quiz™ for a quick summary, or
Do a Sensory Matrix™ for a comprehensive 26-page report and get an overview of all your sensory thresholds, with tips and strategies on how to live a happy, healthy and productive life!









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