Boy with CVI eating a meal with blue plate and water bottle, and a black mat on the table
Tips and facts

9 CVI adaptations for mealtime

Strategies to support a more productive meal and snack time for your child with CVI

Nine strategies that support the use of visual attention, visual recognition, and visual motor skills while eating

Families can take advantage of the relative strengths and abilities of your child with CVI to support a more productive mealtime experience. Read about why the CVI visual behaviors and characteristics make it so hard for kids with CVI to eat. The suggestions below are meant to offer inspiration to try individualized strategies matched to your child’s needs as identified through assessment

1. Targeted and intentional use of color 

2. Visually simplify 

3. Use of light 

4. Familiarity and predictability 

5. Visual field abilities

6. Physical positioning

7. Reduce sensory complexity

8. Exploration and description

9. Sensory inputs

Two examples of mealtime setups that employ many of the strategies described above. In the first image, notice the use of preferred eating tools and the intentional use of color on the straw. For the second image, notice the positioning facing a blank wall, two fidget toys for tactile sensory input, and the tangible symbol schedule: mealtime then dessert.

Image of a meal time set up: black mat, blue plate, blue cup with orange tape on straw, and a blue spon
Mealtime set up for child with CVI. Black mat, yellow compartment plate, adapted spoon, fidget toys, and tangible icons for mealtime and dessert

Eating and CVI is such a popular topic in the CVI family community. Read one parent’s blog post: CVI Mealtime Strategies,

Boy, supported by his father, walks across a wooden playground bridge to his uncle

CVI Now Early Intervention Series

Baby biting the handle of a red pail while lying on a black blanket

CVI strategies for equipping your home for Early Intervention

Toddler sitting on a pile of tissues with some on his head and in his hands

How to Exist in Survival Mode