Food play is all about touching food. We want kids to get comfortable touching foods with their hands so they will start touching them to their lips, then tasting them and finally eating them!
A lot of kids are a lot more hesitant to touch foods than toys, especially picky eaters, and there are a lot of reasons kids can be hesitant to touch foods.
1. Because food is often associated with stressful situations where they have to eat it, not just touch it. So kids will lump all experiences with food together and push it (whatever it is) away with the classic 2-hand gesture of ‘I am having no part in this at all!!’
2. Because food can be a lot of different textures and if kids haven’t touched a food before they don’t know what to expect.
3. Because some kids just don’t like to get their hands dirty or wet or don’t like the feel of the food or don’t trust the situation…
Like with most things, though, kids will usually imitate our attitude and behavior. If we play with food just like any other toys, they’ll usually (eventually) start playing like it’s no big deal, too!
Cut fruit up into building blocks (like in the picture above) and build towers, castles, cities, stables, a garage. Use the blocks as cars, horses, people, favorite characters. You get the idea. Pretend with fruit blocks just like you would pretend with regular blocks!
Make a funny face.
Play a game with food (cubes make great game-pieces when you’re done building).
Enjoy! Happy food play!