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  • Casadie Morris

Yes! You should play with your food

Updated: Apr 17

How many times throughout your childhood did you hear "Eat your food, don't play with it! "?

Probably a lot. our Feeding sessions that is exactly what we do, play!

Why would you want a child to play with their food?

Playing with food is important in feeding therapy for several reasons:

  1. Sensory Exploration: Many children, particularly those with feeding difficulties or sensory processing issues, may be hesitant or resistant to trying new foods. Playing with food allows them to explore different textures, colors, smells, and tastes in a non-threatening way, gradually desensitizing them to the sensory aspects of eating.

  2. Reducing Anxiety: For children who experience anxiety around mealtimes or trying new foods, playing with food can help reduce this anxiety by making the experience more playful and enjoyable. It shifts the focus from the pressure to eat to simply exploring and interacting with food in a relaxed setting.

  3. Building Positive Associations: By associating food with fun and positive experiences, children are more likely to develop a healthy relationship with food and mealtimes. This can help prevent or overcome issues such as picky eating or food aversions.

  4. Improving Motor Skills: Playing with food involves various fine motor skills, such as picking up small pieces, manipulating utensils, and hand-eye coordination. These skills are essential for self-feeding and can be developed through playful food exploration.

  5. Encouraging Independence: By allowing children to play with their food and explore it on their own terms, they gain a sense of autonomy and independence in their eating habits. This can lead to increased confidence and willingness to try new foods.

  6. Facilitating Exposure Therapy: Exposure therapy is a common approach in feeding therapy, where children are gradually exposed to new or challenging foods in a controlled and supportive environment. Playing with food provides a low-pressure way to introduce these foods, allowing children to become more comfortable with them over time.

Overall, playing with food can be an effective and enjoyable way to address feeding difficulties and help children develop healthy eating habits. However, it's important for feeding therapy to be guided by a qualified professional who can tailor the approach to the specific needs and goals of each child.

If you have concerns for your child, reach out to us at Circle Creek Therapy (253-237-3405) to schedule an evaluation.

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