Fussy eaters tip: Let your children play with their food

Feeding therapists at Kids First Children’s Services encourage fussy eaters to play sensory games with food outside of mealtimes.

It might be messy, but there’s method in their madness.

When children play with food, instead of being expected to eat it, they get exposure to new touches, smells and tastes that can help them to build familiarity with new foods.

Here’s some sensory food play ideas you might like to try at home with your child

Your child’s senses, including touch, smell and taste are all factors in their experience with food. Sensitivity to these things are often a big factor in fussy eating.

Playing with all kinds of food gives your child a pressure-free chance to interact with it without the expectation that they have to eat (or even try) it!

At home strategies to support your fussy eater

  • Use pieces of food to make pictures
  • Draw a road on the plate and add sauce so that your child can drive different ‘food cars’ through it
  • Make a ‘blanket’ for your child’s carrot stick and singing to it or telling it a bedtime story
  • Play hide and seek games with food you hide it and your child has to guess where it is (Sometimes hiding food in your mouth can be high amusing to a small child!)
  • Google ‘food play’ for ideas and inspiration. There are many inventive parents and therapists whose ideas might work for your child too

Worried about your child’s fussy eating?

Kids First’s accredited feeding therapists offer personalised support that helps children to become more adventurous eaters. Contact us on 9938 5419 to find out how we can assist your family.

Find out more about feeding therapy at Kids First here

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