Feeding toddler may be frustrating for parents. Adding fun during mealtime is one way to get kids to eat more nutritious foods. Children will not leave the table until they finish meal if they feel they are having a good time with their food. Here are some ideas that parents can use to create a more fun eating experience with their kids.
Involve the kids in simple food preparation
Children who help preparing meal will usually be more willing to taste it. By helping parents preparing food such as washing lettuces or making sandwiches, children will learn about food and
Let children use their finger
Yes, children love finger foods. Let them do that and you’ll be surprised at how much they will eat with their fingers. To enable your kid grab the food with their little fingers, cut it into tiny bite-size or create a miniature muffin and pancake.
Children like to dip and scoop one food into another, for example dipping chicken nuggets into cheese sauce or mash potatoes in tomato sauce. They also love adding sprinkles, sauces, toppings or other ingredients to their food. Let them do that no matter how weird you think their food will be. You can also create your own ideas of add-ins and toppings, for example by chopping tomatoes, broccoli or other veggies to create topping on a bagel. In this case being messy is not a crime.
Create funny shapes
Shaping the food into letters or various objects can add merriment to the kid’s meal time. Cut designs or silly shapes such as circle, triangle, square, diamond into the food (bread, apples, carrots, biscuits or potatoes are perfect choice). Do not forget to look for funny shapes the next time you buy pasta from the supermarket. If you have extra time, have the kids paint the shapes with non-toxic food coloring. When
Do a little decoration
Ask your children to help you decorate pancake with blueberries, raisins, slices of banana, dried apricots or other fruits. Alternatively you can make a house shape with whole bread and decorate it with cheese door and windows and broccoli trees.
Use interesting tableware
Small plates with the kids’ favorite Disney characters, bright colored chopsticks, funny looking spoons and forks can all help promoting fun atmosphere during meal time.
Make music with food. Fill plastic bottles or containers with rice or beans or liquids, then shake them to make sounds. Alternatively hit the plate or glass with spoon or chopsticks to make a drumming noise.
Call the food with silly names
Children will be more tempted to eat the food if you call it eggie pillow rather than egg sandwich or pinky hat instead of strawberry muffin. Use your imagination and invent funny names by yourself.
Add some counting games
Kids love to count. Ask your kids to count the number of beans on their plate, or the number of different colors of vegetables, or the number of fruits in their salad, or count and group fruits with similar shapes. They can learn so much while eating with only little guidance and direction.
Add other games
There are various meal time game ideas that you can create yourself, for example have your kids pretend they serve you dinner in a restaurant.
Ask your children to smell the food and enjoy the scent of herbs or various spices used in the food. Have them feel the texture and enjoy new taste.