5 games to outsmart foodies

5 games to outsmart foodies
5 games to outsmart foodies

From one family to another, the rules governing me altimes differ. However, one instruction seems to be recurrent: do not play with food. What if this was the mistake not to make?


Several studies, including a more recent one conducted by Université de Montfort, seem to show that playing with food promotes dietary diversity in children. By playing with food, without external pressure and without having to taste it, the little one would be better able to tame it, later appreciate it and adopt it.

Although it is important to supervise meals and to teach a certain etiquette at the table, exploratory periods can be considered: a few minutes at the start of the meal, during snack time, on a so-called special, etc Regardless, the goal is to let the child manipulate and discover the foods that are on their plate.

It is possible to favor the autonomous way, that is to say, let the little one touch the contents of his dish without intervening. However, this period of food discovery can also be used to create an educational moment and solidify the parent-child bond, by offeringfunny games. Here are five examples:

Float Supper

Not only is it fun, but it's also great for building vocabulary. Allow your child to put some food in his glass of water and observe:

  • Between the basil leaf and the piece of tomato, which one will sink? Why?
  • If it sinks, is it heavier or lighter?
  • Does the food look smaller or larger when viewed through glass?
  • Does food change color once in water?
  • Is the food, once soggy, soft or hard?
  • Etc.

It's a safe bet that once out of the water, your child won't be able to resist the urge to put it in his mouth.

Painting with food

Tonight, on the menu: mashed potatoes, mashed carrots and beets and basil pesto. It's perfect, ideal for painting!

Place a white paper doily in front of your child. Invite him to use the contents of his plate and his fingers to paint a landscape, for example. Don't be afraid to participate as well. During this “artistic” session, encourage him to mix textures and colors and ask him questions about what he feels and what he sees.

Once the masterpiece is finished, before eating the “real” meal, he will probably lick his fingers to clean them and will have taken a first step towards new flavors.

A vegetable story

Thebroccoli, Brussels sprouts and carrots put off your child? He flatly refuses, even to taste it? So much the better. You can use them to create a nice story.

Place raw 'cursed vegetables' on your child's shelf. Ask him to give them a name. Then, use them as if they were characters and invent a story: Eugène Brocoli and Gertrude Carotte go to the beach. On the road, they meet a little dog named Brussels, etc.

Encourage your child to handle the vegetables and make up the story with you. Maybe this time, he won't want to test their taste naturally, but he will definitely succumb.

Eating blind

Here, we play Colin-Maillard, table version. The child is blindfolded and then the food is placed in front of him. We guide his hands, from one food to another and we question him:

  • What shape is it?
  • Is it smooth or rough?
  • What does it smell like?
  • Is it hard or soft?
  • Put your tongue on it and tell me, is it sweet or s alty?
  • What food do you think it is?
  • Etc.

At the end, he may take off his blindfold and find that he has eaten a piece of cheese. In the end, it wasn't so bad…

Reproduce your environment

The goal of the game is simple: to give instructions to the child to stimulate his imagination and encourage him to build or reproduce his environment, using the content ofhis plate. Ideally, this game is done with fresh and raw vegetables and/or fruits.

Here are some examples:

  • With the carrot sticks, can you make me a sun?
  • Using a cherry tomato, cucumber slices and cheeses, can you make me a snowman?
  • Using the celery sticks, can you make me the number 4?
  • Etc.

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