1. Use play food/kitchen
By playing with pretend food, pretending to cook in a play kitchen (or a real one), you are taking the pressure off the child to eat a food they may not be comfortable with and allowing them to pair food with a positive, playful experience!
2. Engage with & present foods outside of mealtimes
It is important to note that mealtimes can be stressful and traumatic for our little ones with feeding challenges. By engaging with and/or presenting foods outside of mealtime, this takes the pressure off of the child to eat the food to nourish their body (because they know there will be another safe opportunity for them to eat and fill their tummy at a later time). They will be more inclined to engage with it later if they have had positive experiences with it outside of mealtime!
Idea: Make a “sensory bin” out of cooked spaghetti (take it another step by using food coloring to make it a different color or multiple colors)!
3. Pair food with preferred toys
Incorporate foods while playing with toys that your child prefers (such as action figures, dolls, trucks etc.) This pairing will take the stress away from eating the food and will encourage the child to interact with food in a stress-free way.