Did you ever tell someone not to play with their food? Well be careful before you do! When working with kids who have feeding difficulties, playing with food can be a great way to desensitize them. It may not seem like it is helping out your child right now, but linking food with a pleasant experience is an important step when overcoming food aversions! Plus it exposes them to new sensory experiences they may have not experienced yet! Here are some ideas:
1) Use rigatoni pasta to blow cotton balls or other small objects across the table. This lets the kids play with pasta while desensitizing their mouths!
2) Make a picture/design using food. Last week I used bananas, m and m’s, and cheerios to make a face. This activity has the child pushing down food into the banana, desensitizing them to a new “feeling.”
3) Cut foods into the shape of a mouth and make silly faces! Take pictures! This has the child lifting food to their lips without them even knowing it.
These are just a couple of ideas that I have used before. Anything that gets a child interacting with a new food in a positive way is a great option!
Happy eating everyone!