Use Meal Times as a Learning Opportunity

4 Educational Eating Tips

By Alexandra Smith

Weening babies and feeding toddlers can be challenging but if you incorporate learning in to the mix it can help to take the focus off the food and make meal times more fun for your child.

It can be hard to remove the sticker but she persists.
1) Stick a shiny sticker to the table or high chair tray and challenge your child or baby to take it off. This is very good for fine motor skills but don't let them eat it if they do manage to peel it away from the surface. If this distraction works then they may let you sneak a few spoonfuls of their porridge in to their mouth while their attention is elsewhere. You may need to lift a corner of the sticker to help out at first.

2) Label things. Teaching your child that everything has a word is a great way to get them to start reading through sight recognition (like when they 'read' a familiar shop sign). You might cut out the food labels from the packaging if its clean or have laminated word cards which you can get out and ask your child to use to label their fork or their plate. Start with just a couple of labels at first and slowly move on to labelling familiar foods. Very young children may appreciate a little picture on the label as well as a word at first.

3) Encourage your child to help set up the table or prepare some of the food (even if it's just arranging the salad in to a smiley face on their plate). Obviously don't give them a sharp knife, raw meat or anything hot to work with.

4) Turn the television off and use your kitchen or dining room table for safe craft activities like drawing or painting on old cereal boxes (get a good plastic protective table cloth) to get your child used to sitting calmly with you at the table.

Keep Reading: Can Baking Help Us? Learning to Love Cooking.

© This article and its photo(s) are the property of Alexandra Smith. Only use or reproduce with permission.

Disclaimer: These tips are created from lessons I have learnt during my own experience.  With regard to the content and advice on this blog, Alexandra Smith makes no representations or warranties about its accuracy, reliability or suitability for anyone. Any reliance you place on the blog or its content is at your own discretion and in no event will Alexandra be liable for any loss, damage or injury in connection with your use.

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