Making a broccoli forest is a fun way to play with a variety of foods and textures (including veggies!) and pretend play is an important building block for development . Children learn and practice how to interact with the world through play.
First spread mashed potatoes on a plate or food-play surface like a non-slip cutting board (I love this one from Joseph Joseph). Then build a broccoli forest in the mashed potatoes and play with the animal crackers in the forest. You can pretend to feed the animals the mashed potato ground, they can build a house with broccoli, go sledding down the mashed potatoes on broccoli slelds or drive broccoli cars. Your imagination is the limit!
Talk about the differences and similarities between foods as you play with them. Show your child how you touch and taste the foods. Whether your child tastes a new food today or not, having fun with food and seeing that the foods are delicious and safe for you is a great positive experience!
Switch up the ingredients. You could use mashed sweet potatoes or cauliflower instead of broccoli. Try using some of last night’s left-overs, even if your child didn’t want to eat it last night. Let him experience the foods again with no pressure to eat them.
Enjoy and happy food-play!