In the wee hours of Thursday 2nd November, I absconded from the city with my 3 yo for a cruise up the highway to Newcastle to co-host a fun and information filled morning all about feeding fussy eaters. Mel Burgess from Love Parenting, amazing dietitian Stina Oftedal and I hosted the session for a wonderful group of pre-schoolers, toddlers and babies with their parents. Whilst Stina and Mel chatted to the mums. I was busy entertaining and observing the kids with a range of sensory activities, food play and eating at a Teddy Bear’s Picnic.
I walked away with only a single photo of my little bear face creation which shows just how busy I must have been (sorry, it’s not the best picture)!
At the teddy bear’s picnic this is what we got up to:
1) Parachute game with all of the teddies the children brought with them to help “break the ice” and even out all of the children’s arousal levels.
2) Reading a touch and feel book to chat about tactile sensory words.
3) An action nursery rhyme book, pat-a-cake, to continue to get our arousal levels ready for a more difficult upcoming task.
4) Sensory pass around of the following foods: Gold Nugget Mandarin (very bumpy), Navel Orange (smooth with little dot dimples), sweet potato (a bit dirty from growing in the ground), a kiwi fruit (hairy), pineapple (spikey with some green, brown and yellow), knobbly ginger (big smell)
5) We then had some creative play with food as we made bear faces. A rice cake was the base. Each child then used their own little knife to self-spread of about 1/2 tsp of allergy friendly choc spread (a great motor planning task). We then offered a rainbow of different foods for children to pick and choose including
- Blueberries for eyes
- Kiwi fruit or GF pretzels for ears
- Curly carrot hair (I used a hand held spiraliser – about $15 (see picture at end of post)- they are good for making curly carrot, zucchini noodles etc.)
- Fruit juice jubes for a nose
- Cucumber or orange for a mouth
6) After the food fun was over we tried our hands at a gluing and scrunching teddy bear craft activity. This craft is good for developing muscles for pincer grip and subsequently cutlery holding & pre-writing activities. We also added some bumpy bubble wrap tummies to some of the bears.
I love observing children in a playful way to see how they interact with foods and what triggers some of their behaviours. Watching them tells me novels worth of information and I loved engaging with the kids in a pressure-free way to glean this information.
Stina, Mel and I have joined together to offer a program to parents in order to get a multi-disciplinary team together to help you with parenting fussy eaters on a very comprehensive level. The program is called “No More Stressful Mealtimes”. This is perfect if you would love to do my “Goodbye Picky Eating with Simone Emery” course AND want to book in with a dietitian, a parenting counselor or me for an online feeding play session with your child. Our package options ALL come with access to my signature course. If you don’t live in Newcastle, that’s OK we all do online consultations too. Make sure you book via Stina’s page.
Not sure if you need additional assistance with feeding? This is a post that talks about the sorts of “red flags” that a feeding specialist can help you with. And specialist services can be found not only with us, but also speech pathologists, occupational therapists, child psychologists and more.
This is an amazon affiliate link to the sort of hand held spiralizer that I find handy in my house.