Remember growing up the amount of times you were told not to play with your food? Well, it turns out, you actually should!
The latest research by food psychologist Charles Spence, suggests that by playing with food, children can develop healthy eating habits.
It is said that by giving children the freedom to play with foods it can make them more inclined to eat their fruit and veg, and it may even help overcome food phobias.
Professor Spence said: “Research suggests that exposing kids to fruit and veg – simply touching, smelling, looking at the disliked food, without actually having to eat them can, will lead to an increased chance of liking it.”
The research revealed that the dreaded Brussels sprouts were among the most feared veg too!
Nod from the NHS
It seems the advice is backed up by the NHS which recently updated its guidelines to say that fussy eaters should be allowed to play with food if it’s the only way they will eat.
We all know how entertaining a messy eater is, with toddler table and chairs decorated in food! The NHS added that allowing kids to be messy with their food is better than “trying to cajole them into eating nicely.”
Another kind of play
The researchers also found that some music could also improve the enjoyment of eating. Music featuring high pitch chimes could in fact tone down bitter tastes that children dislike. This affects adults less, sense taste buds develop over the years, making bitter tastes more palatable with age.
For an Epic Meal Time
Another important factor, and one that Munchy Play is fully behind, is bringing fun to mealtimes.
Featured in the Daily Telegraph, Dr Frankie Phillips from the British Dietetic Association, said:
"Food isn't just about the nutrients - it is about a social occasion and an experience. Playing with food, preparing food and letting children get messy are all about creating a positive relationship with food; that is really important."
"Getting families eating together and making meals an enjoyable time is a good way to encourage healthy attitudes to eating," the dietician added.
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