Food refusal tip: Meal Time Detective

I wanted to share with you a successful strategy for toddlers and preschoolers.

As many of us know, toddlers and preschoolers are notorious for refusing meals or declaring they dislike something before giving it a go.

As hard as it can be at times we really do want to avoid over-encouragement, begging or pleading with our child to eat.

FOOD EXPLORATION and setting our child up as a Meal Time Detective is such a great way to get everyone involved in a meal, encourage learning and remove the pressure to eat.

What is food exploration?
It's simply exploring facts and sensory information about food. This is an
ideal tool from 2 years+

How do we use food exploration?

Ask questions:
• Do you think this carrot is crunchy or soft? What else have you tried
before that is crunchy? What have you tried before that is soft?
• What sound do you think this will make when I bite it?
• Do you think this apple is juicy or dry?
• How many seeds do you think we can count on this strawberry?

Demonstrate:
• I wonder what sound this pea will make when I bite it. Oh, did you hear
that! I think it popped!

Explore with hands:
• What colour do you think I'll find when I slice this blueberry in half?
• How many seeds do you think we will find in this tomato?

Real example:
A few years ago my then 3 year old was served peas and before she tried them she said"I don't like them" (sound familiar!?)

Instead of talking about whether or not I thought she should try them I picked
up a pea from my plate and said "I wonder what sound it will make when I
bite it. I think it might make a popping sound! What do you think?"

I bit the pea and said "oh, did you hear that? I think it popped! Should we try
it again?"

Low and behold, she wanted to try it herself and went on to eat about 3 peas
(a success!). Even if she only touched the peas, this would be progress from
declaring 'I don't like them'.

I would love to hear if you try this and how it goes for you!