Today’s Food for Thought: Let Your Kids Help You in the Kitchen
Healthy eating is encouraged when all the senses are used. When introducing healthful foods to any child, especially a picky eater, you’ll want to have them help prepare the food. Learning to eat nutritious foods is a process, in which all the senses must be engaged. This is called multi-sensory learning.
Parents expect taste alone should be enough when introducing new foods to their child. It doesn’t matter if you’re four or forty, multi-sensory learning works. Once a picky eater’s senses are engaged, she’ll be on the road to healthy eating. Auditory learning is essential and discussing the meal is vital. Keep the conversation about the food positive. “What color is broccoli? Green food is yummy! Is the broccoli smooth or rough?” What does is smell like? Surprisingly, the last sense to incorporate is taste.
Most picky eaters need to be taught how to enjoy whole foods. One of the easiest ways to accomplish this is through meal prep. To avoid food battles, make mealtime a learning experience. Whenever possible engage your child’s senses with food preparation.
Angel is old enough to learn how to use a knife.
Children are like sponges as they soak up everything around them. Encourage your picky eater to appreciate once-refused foods. Not only will meal preparation give a child multi-sensory experiences, but the will have a sense of ownership in the food prepared.
Multi-sensory learning is the foundation of the Baby Bite Steps. In fact, in about a week, after the implementation of the Baby Bite Steps, even the most food-resistant child will pick up and eat a formerly refused food.
Even a toddler can help with various aspects of food preparation. A toddler can peel bananas, mix ingredients, and tear lettuce. Preschoolers can help measure ingredients, break eggs into a bowl, use a plastic knife to cut soft fruit and cheese, make sandwiches and toss salads. Older children can learn to make simple recipes like pancakes, make salads, and use blenders, hand mixers and the microwave.
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