Having Fun with Food: Fun Feeding Therapy Activities to Try at Home
Listed below are a few fun feeding therapy related activities to try with your children at home. Encouraging exploration and creativity with food can be a fun activity and can often encourage them to try new food!
Fun Shapes: Use cookie cutters to cut sandwiches, cheese slices, thinly sliced fruits/vegetables, etc. into a variety of your child’s favorite shapes. You can even have them use a rolling pin to ‘roll out’ the sandwiches prior to using the cookie cutter. This is a great activity for children to use their imaginations with food, aiding them in their feeding goals. As an added bonus, this activity helps to address language concepts such as; sizes, colors, and shapes!
Fun Plates: Use child-friendly plates and utensils during mealtimes. Divided and/or sectioned plates are often recommended for picky eaters. Paper plates shaped as different animals are available at most retail stores. The Food Face Kids Dinner Plate (available on Amazon) allows children the opportunity to “decorate” the face on the plate by giving him a hat, beard, mustache, etc. using different foods on their plate. This allows children to be creative with their food, while having fun. This is very important when working on feeding therapy goals at home.
Fun Food Preparation: Involve your children in meal planning, grocery shopping and food preparation when possible. Have your children play an active role in developing a weekly menu by showing them pictures of completed recipes and having them choose new foods that they are interested in trying. Pinterest (www.pinterest.com) is an excellent source for gathering new recipes with a variety of ingredients. Involve them in the process of formulating grocery lists, grocery shopping (this is also an opportunity to address language concepts such as categories, colors, shapes, etc. to aid in speech therapy goals as well), preparing the food and plating the meal. Sometimes, children are more likely to attempt new foods that they have helped their families to prepare. (On a side note, this is a great time to visit the T.E.A.M. 4 Kids Pinterest page [http://www.pinterest.com/team4kidsaz] to search through great physical therapy, occupational therapy, feeding therapy, and speech therapy resources).
**Please remember these are some fun suggestion to help promote feeding goals at home. However, if you have any concerns regarding your child’s feeding and or swallowing skills, it is important that you discuss them with his or her physician or therapist.**