Hello!

Getting my toddler to sit down during mealtimes is like getting a bouncy kangaroo to stop jumping – it’s a BIG challenge! The world is way too exciting to actually stay still for a few minutes and eat. So I’m trying a new tactic. Instead of focusing on the food, I focus on the fun….and hallelujah it’s working!

Mealtimes were becoming stressful for both my toddler and I. He’s a wriggler and constantly tried to escape the confines of his high chair. Plus food just didn’t excite him. He would much rather be banging on his miniature drums or zooming cars around the lounge room. I was all out of ideas….but then thank goodness the experts at Little Bellies came to the rescue.

Play With Your Food

The Bellies team believes that we should be encouraging play during mealtimes…rather than banishing it. Play is one thing that kids do very naturally! By incorporating play into eating, my toddler is learning about textures, temperatures, colours, sounds, smells and tastes and developing a more relaxed and positive association with a variety of food.

The Bellies team has been working with Natural Feeding Advocate Simone Emery, and she has designed some fun ‘play with your food’ games, designed to get little fingers playing with all food groups. I started trying out some of these games and they have transformed our mealtimes. No longer do we dread dinner (or lunch). In fact, my cheeky toddler now tries to climb into his highchair so he can have fun with mum.

Little Bellies Is Designed To Encourage Kids To Play

I took Simone’s suggestion to sample The Little Bellies range of organic products that have been developed for toddlers 12 months and older and are perfect for our ‘play with your food’ games. The range introduces a whole new world of flavours and helps with the beginnings of a rotary chew, development of jaw strength, oral motor skill refinement and pincer grip. And most importantly, my toddler absolutely adores all The Little Bellies food. No longer do I have any trouble convincing him to eat.

Here are a few of our favourite games that we play during mealtimes.

Star Race Relay

In this game, Little Bellies’ yummy Green Pea Stars take on the role of the humble egg in a traditional egg and spoon race. The game improves hand-eye coordination and helps toddlers explore the sensation of the light snacks in the spoon, which will work towards mastering cutlery usage. To play the game, set up the racecourse. For young players, the more direct and obstacle-free the better. For older racers, get creative to increase the challenge. Set out a range of spoons for all relay race participants noting that as children get older the spoon can get smaller to level out the playing field. Happy racing!


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Princess Pea Wands

Encourage your child to create their own magic wand by attaching Little Bellies Organic Green Pea Stars by licking them and pushing them onto the end of an Organic Strawberry Pick-Up Stick. Children will learn about dissolvable foods while building exposure to different food tastes and flavours. Modelling having fun and enjoying foods with different functional properties helps children feel relaxed about new foods. 

 

 

 

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Gingerbread Dress Ups

This activity is great to improve your toddler’s fine motor skills and creative expression all whilst eating. Get creative by learning how to dress up a Little Bellies Gingerbread Man with delicious cream cheese and carrot strips. All you will need to do is pre-peel a raw carrot for your toddler to then twist, bend, wrap and decorate their gingerbread men in creative outfits and cream cheese. Let their imagination run wild!

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Fiddlestick towers

The uses for Organic Fiddlesticks are endless! Fiddlesticks can be built into a tower by licking and sticking! Perfect for toddlers who love constructing (and deconstructing)! Making a Fiddlesticks tower encourages toddlers to have a taste of these tasty tomato multigrain sticks while nurturing those developing creative skills. We suggest opening several packets of Organic Fiddlestick, show your child how to lick and stick the Fiddlesticks together and let them get creative and build a tower of their own. Jenga-style could be one way, but who knows what tower they will create!

 

 

 

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You Too Can Stop Toddler Tantrums At Mealtimes

If mealtimes with your toddler are tough, give these games a try. They’ve certainly worked for us.

Do you find mealtimes with your toddler tricky? Tell us in the comments below.

The team at Mouths of Mums is working with the Bellies team to bring you this article. We love that the Bellies brand ethos is ‘Do What’s Natural’ and that their focus is on supporting natural child development with their age-appropriate wholesome snacks for all stages of child development and through the concept of Playing with Food. Check out the full Bellies range at bellies.com.au.

Want to know what other mums think about the Bellies range? See MoM Members reviews and ratings in our Pre Shop Directory here – or if you’ve tried products from Bellies yourself, jump across to see Bellies in our Rate It Directory and Rate and Review the products for yourself … don’t forget there’s always MoM Member rewards points up for grabs too!

  • Playing with good creates good eaters!

    Reply

  • Of your 6 ingredients there’s no mention oil. How do you cook them? Do you put a small amount of oil in a pan or deep fry them? What temperature? Do you turn them?
    I’m inexperienced in the kitchen looking after my wife with dementia and need a bit more information cause they sound sooo good.

    Reply

  • Cute ideas but little bellies ihas rather processed foods

    Reply

  • These are such cute ideas. I’d love to try some of these :)

    Reply

  • Loving these ideas! My 2 year old would love this.. unless the food is extra tasty then it probably wouldn’t last long enough to play games!

    Reply

  • Some great advice. I’m going to try this with my grand babies

    Reply

  • I think you just got to wait it out because they get over it eventually and i ended up just getting crap throw a me and all over the floor when i tried to do anything so i just let it go. They’ll eat when there hungry.

    Reply

  • Great help for busy mums.

    Reply

  • We also bring toys to the table now to play with or share the food with like a picnic.

    Reply

  • Was raised not to play with my food, how much times have changed!

    Reply

  • Great post – thanks for sharing this.

    Reply

  • Playing with food is good indeed ????

    Reply

  • With super fussy and sensory issues kids any ideas to try at meal times is great!

    Reply

  • Very cute and easy ideas to do.

    Reply

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