If your little one is refusing foods, throwing food, spitting things out, gagging, trying to escape the high chair, not keen on exploring new food - it's time to involve them more in as many meals as possible.
Here are 6 reasons why this will be beneficial:
They can see how meals are made and how ingredients go together.
Mixed textures like soup or bolognese needn’t be scary when they can see what you’ve added and that they like all the ingredients individually.
They can interact with new foods and textures without any pressure to eat any.
Mealtimes can often add stress to little ones as they know there’s an expectation that they eat. If you ensure you’re not asking your child to try anything during cooking together, they’ll get some nice explosive and might be tempted to take a nibble.
It will grow their vocabulary as you talk them through what you’re doing.
They’re not going to learn the words ‘sauté’ and ‘finely slice’ anywhere else! If you talk them through every step they’ll pick up so many new words and concepts.
It helps them to develop interest in food they may have ignored at mealtime.
Food can sometimes be more exciting when it’s uncooked. Cold food often doesn’t smell as strongly either which can be a deterrent to some kids at mealtimes.
You can involve them in meal prep before they start solids.
If you wear your baby in a carrier or a wrap then they can be right there on your chest as you cook! They’ll be getting all the benefits of food exposure and new language without having to eat anything at all!
It strengthens their relationship with food and with you!
You’ll have so much fun getting messy and cooking together that it’ll bring you both closer. All that happiness around food can only improve their feelings about new food - it’s a win win.
Preparing food with kids can increase their interest in new things as all the pressure is taken off - they know they're not there to eat so they are more likely to explore freely.
Not only does this support your child's language and ability to make foods for themselves, in also increases their sense of control and independence - things all kids wants!
If you’re looking for a place to get started - let your child explore one of our Wooden Knives. Making smoothies together is a fantastic activity - you could chop fruit together and add it to the blender. Pour on some milk and add a dash of honey - voila, now you’re cookin’!