I know how difficult it may be to have fussy eaters at home; not just as a mother, but also as a Senior Consultant Nutritionist and Dietitian with over 17 years of experience in child nutrition. We simply want our children to eat, meet their nutritional needs, and quit being finicky eaters. So, how can we make mealtimes more fun and stimulate the consumption of new foods? Play with food!
Food play has gotten a bad reputation in the past.
“Don’t mess with your food!”
“Use your fork and spoon!”
“Don’t spit out your meal!”
Such instructions don’t help, and I’m here to tell you why.
1. We employ all five senses to eat, so it’s a whole sensory experience. We can help our children become accustomed to new foods by allowing them to use all of their senses. Touching, smelling, listening, feeling, and finally tasting our food are all important aspects of eating. We eat with all of our senses, which is particularly crucial for children and helps them to become more familiar with these foods.
2. It’s not just about trying something new when it comes to eating; it’s about having interactions and exposures that brings our children closer to eating those foods. According to research, the more we allow our children to interact with different foods, textures, tastes and smells; the more comfortable they will get with these foods.
3. Taking a bite and eating a new meal can be intimidating. However, touching, smelling, or even licking that meal may not be as frightening. It has been proven that encouraging these stimuli leads to children liking new foods. Allowing children to spit their food out can be beneficial. We’re showing them that it’s alright if they don’t like the food right away, and that they can spit that bite onto their plate. This can help children feel more at ease with new foods.
Kanupriya Khanna, a Senior Consultant Nutritionist & Dietitian with over 17 years of experience in child nutrition, can provide expert advice. Kanupriya Khanna is regarded as one of the best dietitians in Delhi because of her unwavering commitment to making a difference in people’s lives by instilling good eating habits and lifestyles.
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