Today we’re once again exploring ideas for building good eaters through food play with our sponsor Ella’s Kitchen, producer of some of my kids’ favorite fruit and veggies squeezers (yes, big kids love them too) and big time believers in the importance of raising healthy and adventurous eaters.
I just love how these colorful fruit-filled jigglers will entice all of baby’s senses while encouraging him or her to try new foods. Plus the rainbow theme is perfect for extending into a St. Patrick’s Day activity for older siblings too!
Here’s Kristin with all the details…
Babies and toddlers learn through play. It’s through spontaneous play that self-confidence is gained. This is what helps them engage in new experiences – including new food experiences. Think about it like creating a fun and safe environment for our little ones to explore the world.
We recently used gelatin in two ways to introduce different textures, colors, smells, and tastes to baby. The result was a lot of fun and a lot of interest on her part.
We started with various trays of gelatin and a set out spring-themed cookie cutters. Using the shapes, we helped baby cut out jigglers. She loved playing with the shapes and her fingers explored the bouncy texture of the thicker jello.
Later, we introduced a tray of jello with fruit hidden inside each texture. Instead of using fruits she’d already tried, we used new fruits like blueberries and mango. You could also easily incorporate some new veggies with this idea as well.
Who could resist digging into all these colors!? She timidly touched the tray and after a few minutes, every color had been squished and tasted.
This fun little activity is a precursor for being open to foods with unfamiliar properties. Imagine, for example, how this activity will eventually translate into trying a new fruit or vegetable with an unfamiliar color or texture.
Instead of giving it an immediate no, her brain will remember that it’s fun to try new things.
So, dig out your cookie cutters, make a tray of gelatin (don’t forget to hide in some new foods) and have a fun afternoon exploring with baby. You’ll have fun making memories together while laying the foundation for an adventurous and healthy eater!
Thanks to Ella’s Kitchen for sponsoring this post and helping modern parents everywhere to raise healthy eaters.