Having Fun with Food Can Help Your Fussy Eater Child.
Easter holidays are a great time to have some fun with food with your fussy eater children. Having fun with food can have a positive impact on your fussy or anxious eater child. Fussy eater children are often worried and anxious about eating new foods. They will often worry about the look, feel, smell and texture of the food and feel safer eating their familiar foods. Encouraging food play and making food fun helps to reduce anxiety and gives children confidence to explore new foods.
Whilst playing with the food your child will be learning about the feel of the food, how it smells and changes as it is peeled, sliced and chopped. If your child is anxious about touching a new food they are less likely to eat it. Taking the focus away from eating and place it on creating and having fun with the food often results in children being able to tolerate foods they have previously refused to touch.
How to Make Food Fun
If your fussy eater child is hesitant to touch wet textures then use a utensil as a barrier between their hand and the food. A fun cookie cutter works well. They will soon be thinking about the shape the cutter is making rather than what they are cutting because it is fun. Little bits of food are bound to get on their hands which is the first step. Encourage them to use their imagination and create Easter pictures and scenes using a variety of different foods. Use paintbrushes to paint on features with food or put sauces, creams and melted chocolate in piping bags and let them feel the texture of the food squeezing the bag as they decorate their plate. It doesn’t matter if they don’t eat they would have been looking at, touching and smelling a variety of foods.
Some Fun Easter Ideas
Breakfast is often a good time to share food ideas with your fussy eater. Alongside their preferred food offer some fun Easter fruit ideas. You can create as you eat together. Make sure you eat some of the fruits as you are creating your fun Easter food scenes. You are your fussy eaters greatest role model.
Our team had lots of fun creating these:
Have Fun with Sauces
Sauces are one of the foods children we work with struggle to eat because if it touches their preferred food it makes it look different. Sauces spread on the plate and will change appearance as it spreads rather than look uniform. If a food looks different a child who feels anxious about their food will not eat it as they no longer feel confident on how the food should be eaten.
To introduce a sauce into your child’s diet it needs to be served separately from other foods so it can not touch the preferred food. Use a ramekin or egg cup to put the sauce in therefore ensuring it is separate from other foods. Use a sauce like it’s paint and make pictures which allows your child to learn about the look and smell of the sauce. Show your child how they can dip another food into the sauce and get a tiny taste. Dipping a spoon into a sauce and coating the back before licking it results in the sauce being less threatening that a whole spoonful.
Using a preferred food as a sauce is another method to try, whilst combining this with a new food. A great way to use up Easter eggs is to melt chocolate to make a sauce. Offer fruits to dip into it and show your child how they can lick the sauce off.
We hope you have lots of Fun with Food over Easter creating beautiful Easter scenes.