Between the age of 18 months and four years old, children discover their independence. With this comes a desire to explore the world around them.
Play with Food
Fussy eating, picky eating, or just showing no interest in food is common in young children. A report by Science Direct found that up to half of mums reported at least one child being a poorly or 'picky eater'.
So, what can be done?
There's a ton of support available to help prevent fussy eating. But we're going to hone in on one of these: making dining fun. As any parent knows, children love to play. So, anything you can do to inject a bit of playfulness into mealtimes will help create positive associations around dining.
Made by a Mum
Our toddler plates were designed by a mum of a "diffcult eater". Not only was her son particularly fussy, but also expressed little interest in coming to the table, or sitting still at mealtimes. Experimenting with a toy train track around his plate one day, she noticed it was a complete "game-changer" and spent the next three years' developing a robust product that works and keeps food at the focus.
Much like visiting a restaurant, where children are given crayons and colouring in, Munchy Play® bridges the gap, to make mealtimes more enjoyable for everyone.
How to use your Munchy Play plate?
To get the best out of your Munchy Play® plate, you’ll want to set your child up for success. Here's five steps to using our kids' plates successfully:
But first, choose a kids' plate that appeals to their interests. If they love trains, then try the Choo-Choo plate, if they are into cars, racing and vehicles, our Vroom-Vroom plate is a smart choice. All our plates are gender-universal and compatible with most leading toy trains, cars and teddies.
Here's how to use your Munchy Play kids' plate successfully:
Step 1: It's good to talk
Talk to your child before using the plate. Show them how it works with their toys and explain it's their very own plate.
This will make them feel special and get them excited about dining. It will also help if you can ensure no other children use the plate.
If your child is particularly challenging at mealtimes, perhaps introduce the plate without any food on in the first instance, to build up their interest.
Step 2: Involve them
Involve your child at mealtimes and bring them into the experience. You might want to get them involved in preparing their meal, or even just ask them what they'd like to eat. Giving your child options and making them feel part of the process is a tactic many professionals use.
With our plates you can go one-step further, inviting them to choose their toy train, car or doll they'd like to bring with them to the table each day (ensuring they are suitable/clean/safe to do so).
Step 3: Keep it Exclusive
We get so much positive feedback from parents about how our kids' plates have transformed mealtimes. You will want to keep that excitement going for as long as possible. The best way to do that is to keep your Munchy Play plate exclusively for mealtimes.
Try not to bring it out to entertain your child at other times of the day. You'll want to use it as a tool to excite them about dining. It's all about creating positive associations with mealtimes.
Step 4: Respect the Way They Play
Children have their own way of playing. Some will want to stuff as many vehicles on the track as possible, others will host imaginary tea parties!
There’s no wrong or right way to play, as long as it’s safe. After all, children develop practical life skills through play.
Step 5: Get Involved too!
In the early days of weaning we make eating fun. We play games with our child like 'here comes the aeroplane' and peek a boo.
Then in just a few months once weaning is over, we tend to dismiss or forget this. But children still love to play and dining with a youngster should be enjoyable.
So get involved. Play games with your child using our plate, and use the opportunity to talk about food choices in a fun way. It's great for bonding too.