Is your toddler beginning to refuse some foods? It’s natural to worry about whether your little one is eating enough of the right things, especially if they start showing signs of fussy eating. Toddler’s taste buds are constantly evolving, which can make mealtimes a minefield as foods once enjoyed are now rejected, even if they only look slightly different!
Organix’ children’s food expert Lucy Thomas has suggested 5 fun food activities to help fussy tots enjoy good food and avoid the junk. In fact they’re not just for tricky toddlers – exploring, playing and getting hands on helps encourage a love of good food in all little ones!
1. Funny Faces
Make a smile by taking a bite of the food to reveal the shape of a smile, or a moon. Try with slices of carrot, cucumber, courgette, tomato, melon, or kiwi. You can also make funny lips with slices of fruit with theskin still on. Slice them small enough so your little one can practice holding them in place with their teeth with the skin facing out.
2. Hands up
Drawing around your hand, or your toddler’s, on a piece of paper, or paper plate, creates an instant tool tohelp with exploring new foods, and makes the experience a little more fun. The outline of your hand can be a tree or a bush with a piece of fruit or vegetable placed at the top of each finger.
3. Magic stars
Using a small star cutter you can cut shapes out of anything, from sandwiches with new fillings, to toast with different spreads, and slices of courgette or cucumber. Can you count the points of the star? Encourage your little one to try something new by showing them how you can nibble off a point of the star and munch its magic into your tummy!
4. Lollipop, lollipop
Forks can turn any chunk of fruit into a lollipop. It’s a great way to offer your toddler a new or different piece of fruit and allows them to be in charge of how much they taste. Try with strawberries or chunks of pineapple, melon, or kiwi.
Brush foods hard between your teeth – does the food make a squeak? (Green beans are very squeaky!) Ask your little one if they can hear a mouse. Making teeth marks in the food with lots of sound effects will also be lots of fun for your little one.