We learn new skills by practicing them over and over, but often just the thought of repetitive drills feels daunting, discouraging and no fun at all. This is where games come in. When we make anything into a game, especially something we want to practice over and over like touching or tasting new foods, it’s suddenly, magically fun! We may even forget we’re working on a skill because we’re so focused on the game!
Hard-boiled eggs are an easy, packable source of protein to put in lunches and snacks, and lots of famiilies I’ve worked with want to find a way to add them to their child’s diet.
In order to get comfortable with a hard-boiled egg (or any food, for that matter), we need to explore it, find out what it’s made of, how does it feel, how does it break apart. Maybe we need to get used to their smell before we’re willing to bring one to our mouth and try a bite.
There are so many fun ways to play with and explore hard-boiled eggs! We can deconstruct a hard-boiled egg. We can make a picture or build something with the pieces of an egg, and when a child is starting to lose interest, a game of carrot cone drills can help keep them touching, exploring and having fun!
Carrot cone drills can be done with any round ‘ball-like’ food, not just hard-boiled eggs. You could use a tangerine, a protein ball/round cookie or anything that remotely rolls. Or you could use something that doesn’t roll and hop it around the cones. You could use the cones as stumps and hop a piece of food from stump to stump. You could make a cone game part of a bigger edible obstacle course.
The more opportunities a child has to touch and experience foods while having fun, the more comfortable they’ll become with the food. So, have fun and get creative. Let your child make up some of the ‘rules’ and play away!
Happy Monday and happy food play!