Remember when we used to be told not to play with food? Our parents always told us, we’re supposed to eat it, not play with it. But for children who have sensory issues, eating may become a particularly challenging obstacle. That’s why food therapy comes in handy as it can help kids overcome their aversion towards certain foods.
Before you put food into your mouth, you have to be comfortable with touching it. That’s why food therapy incorporates and encourages kids to play with food. We present picky eaters with new foods and help them to touch, before they taste. Touching new foods will help kids learn how the foods feel, smell and explore how they break apart or react to their touch. The more comfortable the kids are with the food, the more likely they are to try them. That’s the theory, and food therapy has been known to work!
Here’s how you can start:
Try setting aside a 15-30 minute food-play snack time every day at around the same time, whether it’s between breakfast, lunch or dinner, whenever works in your family’s schedule. Make this a snack time, where it is separate from a meal when you want your child to eat a quantity of food for calories or nutrition. This way, this snack time is a stress-free opportunity to explore and play with foods, without giving the child pressure to eat.
And make it fun! You can start by signing up for this free resource library at http://eepurl.com/bTKJe1 which has a useful “Animal Alphabet” e-book that shows how to use different foods like avocado, blueberry, cheese, etc – all the way through the alphabet, to make animal shapes with food. It’s a fun way to start your own food-play snack time!