Sometimes a piece of food looks just like an animal, a person or a face. This is a great opportunity to create a character you can play with again and again, like this Potato-Hedgehog Adventurer with pear goggles, who seems to have gotten lost in the desert….By creating the same character over and over during food play, your child has an opportunity to touch the same foods over and over (like the potato and pear used to make the hedgehog adventurer) and other foods can be added to the food play through the adventures of the character.
Familiar characters or play schemes also help kids know what to expect. Because food play is so open-ended, it can be full of the unknown, which can be scary. Adding an element, like a character, where kids know where to start can give them a sense of knowledge and command over the activity, which can help build confidence around food.
So, when your child says their pizza looks like a fish or their potato looks like a manatee, see if you can take that opportunity to create a character that can be played with again and again to help introduce them to new foods.
Enjoy and happy food play!