5 Food Play Ideas To Beat Witching Hour & Help Fussy Eaters

Posted on December 28, 2015 by Amy Goller | 1 comment

I am so happy that Amy has asked me to write for My Tiny Wardrobe this week. I love her sense of community and how her products fit with her ideals of supporting mums.  Whether it is retail therapy, learning something new or finding out about other mums and what they do, you are sure to find something unique and inspiring in Amy’s collection.

My life is a kaleidoscope of different roles. A major part of my day is being mum to two little girls (Elizabeth, 3 ½ and Verity, 22 mths).  I am married. I have a new part-time job. And I run Play with Food.  I feel motherhood has an ever changing “play book”.  Once you think you have something sorted, something else gets you in a tizz!  Play with Food is all about helping parents delight their kids with food.  I mostly work with families that have fussy eaters.  My goal is to bring them happy mealtimes.  

How to Help Fussy Eaters - Babies and Toddlers Mealtimes

Today I am sharing with you 5 ideas to help you through “witching hour” or when your kids get the hangries (and we might get them too!) After a really good afternoon tea (about 2 hours before dinner is ideal). Set them up with one of the following activities.  These activities are usually reasonably easy to set up and (depending on the ages of your kids) may require only half an ear out for supervision.  I love to incorporate the foods we will be eating at dinner into our pre-dinner playtimes.

1. Vegie Painting

Using some vegetables, try painting (or drawing around) them onto paper.  You can make an edible paint by mixing a teaspoon of yoghurt with a drop of food colouring.  Vegetables that make good brushes include asparagus, broccoli, rosemary stalks and carrot tops.  Or you can cut a potato into two and make circle/oval stamps.

Help for Baby and Toddler Fussy Eaters at Meal Times

2. Grouping and Counting with Vegie Scraps

This is great if you have peels from potato / carrot / sweet potato or the outer leaves of a leek / lettuce / cauliflower available.  Have the children tear them into pieces and then line them up in order from smallest to biggest.  Or put them in groups of similar size pieces. Then they can tally up the number of pieces they have sorted out.

3. Mystery Sensory Challenge

In a shoe box, place some dry rolled oats and some small mystery fruits and vegetables for the children to find and determine what they are just by feeling them. This works well for small items like apricots, plums, cherries, beans, sugar snap peas and cherry tomatoes.  You could use shredded paper, dry rice or dry pasta to surround the mystery foods too.

How to Help Fussy Eaters Toddlers and Babies

4. Bubble Painting

In a small beach bucket over a messy mat or outside, place some detergent, food colouring and water.  Put some paper over the bucket and poke a straw through it.  The child then blow OUT to make bubbles that will reach up and colour the paper.

5: Food Sculptures (for ages 3 and up)

A great way to use their imagination and also to make some use of your scraps again too.   With toothpicks, get them to try and make things like a car, digger, castle or dog out of food items.  This can be simply done on a placemat on the floor beside you while you are making dinner.

I have teamed up with two other mums to write a Happy Mealtimes eCourse.  It will include plenty of tips to help you master your family mealtimes, especially with fussy eaters.  The eCourse kicks off on January 4, 2016.

Simone xx 

Find out more about Simone on Instagram: @playwithfood_au and you can also find more information on her website

Posted in Fussy Eaters, How to Survive 'Witching Hour', Mealtime Ideas