Take it apart: rip it up into big pieces and little pieces. Tear it into strips and squares. Show your child how you can make ‘bite marks’ in lettuce when you bite down with your teeth. See if your child can fill up a bowl with lettuce pieces.
Pretend with it. You could make pieces of lettuce leaves into plates or napkins for a pretend tea party or picnic. Or you could make a fun animal and pretend to feed the lettuce to the animal. If you’ve filled up bowls of lettuce, you could play dump-truck construction site and scoop and dump piles of lettuce!
Licorice can be a great ‘special treat’ food to practice chewing. Often therapists will use Twizzlers (or Slim Jims depending on a child’s tastes) to work on chewing because of their soft, chewy texture and long shape (which makes it easy to hold and not lose in a child’s mouth). Just be sure your child is able to manage any pieces they bite off before you try this!
Enjoy and happy food play!