“Messy food play has a huge role in reducing food fussiness, both in infancy and later in childhood”.Weaning can be a confusing time and every baby is individual, reacting to new foods and sensations in different ways.There is no one way of going about it, but Sensory Food Play can be great fun without necessarily being messy. Babies benefit from being able to touch, lick and squash their foods, all taught by their best teacher – their parent.It’s also perfect for bonding, whilst they discover the exciting sensations food has to offer. See what works for you and your baby, keep it simple, don’t worry too much about the mess and just give everything a good wipe at the end! WaterWipes are an ideal, safe option when cleaning up sticky hands and faces as they contain 99.9% water and a drop of fruit extract.Take a look at the fun our families had with sensory food play!
SENSORY FOOD PLAY GAMES YOU CAN TRY AT HOME
Hide small pieces of chopped fruit and vegetables (such as blueberries, chopped melon, soft prunes and cucumber sticks) in a wide tray of rice Krispies. Encourage your baby to find them with their hands.
Print out an image of a rainbow (or a picture of anything else you like – it just needs to be multicoloured). Then place different coloured foods in front of your baby, such as grapes, berries and tinned sweetcorn, and if you have the time, also chop a few colourful vegetables such as carrots or beetroot. Ask your baby to match and then place each food colour on the colour of the rainbow.
Layout foods with different textures, such as breadsticks, plain crackers, rice cakes, cooked porridge, hummus, soft banana and avocado. Then help your baby snap or crush with their hands.
Shape and Colour Matching
Dip different shaped fruit and vegetables into the edible paint and make prints on to a sheet of white paper. To create different shapes, use star fruits, orange segments, halved apples, halved pears and kiwis.
Teddy’s Tea Party
Select five small shaped foods (such as raisins, peas, pasta shapes, rice Krispies and dried apricots) and mix together in a bowl. Lay out three to four plates for baby, mum, teddy and doll etc. Then encourage your baby to share out the food. This will be a good activity to help children develop pincer grip.