"Hey cat, you want to jump in the ketchup?" asked my 2 year old daughter as she dipped her cookie cutter omelet cat into her ketchup and then into her mouth. "This is soooo silly!"
Cookie cutters are a must have tool for playing with food and encouraging trying new foods. They are inexpensive, easy, and mess free! Here is just an example of how we used it with a thin egg omelet. Other foods you can use them with include: bread and tortillas to spread new foods on, lunch meat, fruits, potato pancakes, etc. The possibilities are endless! If you are looking for shapes small enough for small foods, look for play dough tools.
Did you ever think you'd see those two words together? We had a lot of fun with this simple broccoli activity! In a previous post on mealtime as a sensory experience, I mentioned using condiments to enhance the taste of foods. Here's an example of how it can be done to encourage children to explore different tastes and taste combinations.
Broccoli Painting with Condiments
Broccoli (your paintbrush): I steamed a bag of frozen but use whatever style you like
Condiments (your paint): I just used what I found in my fridge - ketchup, mustard, sour cream, and soy sauce. I was looking for a variety of colors
Plates (your paint palette)
Paper (your canvas)
This is really an open ended activity. I explained to the children and modeled how they can use the broccoli as the paintbrush and we talked about the colors of "paint." I gave them the option to dip a finger into the different condiments to see how they tasted before we began. They were happy to do that and we talked about the different tastes and which ones they thought might taste best with broccoli.
Then, we just had at it, stamping and painting (and eating) away. I encouraged smelling and licking the broccoli and they ended up taking the next step and devouring each piece after painting with it.
We mixed colors and flavors, talked about what tasted good together and what didn't, and created some neat art that they were pretty proud of!
Did you try this activity? Have questions or feedback? Please feel free to comment below!