Little Fuss Pots
When KiddiKutter chat with Little Fusspot; All the best lessons are learnt in the kitchen!
We had the pleasure of meeting Beth from Little Fusspot today, she uses our KiddiKutter knives in her therapy sessions when helping families with picky eating. She says to me “I’m going to let you in on a little secret as to why mealtimes, particularly evening meals are so difficult for kids Maria. Firstly one of the most common reasons is the abundance of calories during the day to sufficiently fulfil a child’s dietary requirements but refining that comes with analysing a food diary and setting a balanced meal plan. Secondly is the anxiety that comes with being served something that’s unexpected.”
Calmer mealtimes are all about allowing time for a child to process information. Parents are normally busy in the kitchen preparing food without the child’s knowledge or input, therefore the child is completely unaware of what will be served, and this is where you set yourself up for 50% fail rate unless you’re sticking to the same foods each night.
When faced with a fussy eating child, you may have considered if there was a disorder with how they process their sensory world. Sensory processing disorder is the inability to interpret smells, tastes, sounds, touches, sights and movements from our environment.
A child needs adequate time to process information, much more time than we do as adults. This isn’t about telling a child 10 minutes prior that dinner is coming and its going to be a plate of vegetables. It’s about sharing the joy of preparation with them so that they are able to engage with the food and process information as to how that might be eaten, how it smells, how it might taste, the texture that will hit the mouth and prepare their little bodies and digestive juices for how that might be digested.
Beth says “When a child comes into my clinic we use 3 therapy techniques when we suspect that a child has a sensory development delay or disorder. We use sensory play therapy, TBSLKN (which is a tasting technique) and also the Little Sous chef”
To get hold of the Little Fusspot TBSKLN technique, you can download it here and watch a short video on how the technique is used. https://courses.littlefusspot.com/courses/freecourse
The little Sensory Sous Chef
All great lessons I believe are all learnt in the kitchen, beautiful memories are made, and motor skills are developed. If you’re worried about the mess, then you have to weigh up the knowledge they gain for fine and gross motor skills, mathematics from weighing and measuring ingredients, reading and understanding vocabulary used in the kitchen, time management, organisation skills and preparation skills plus you are effectively de-sensitising your child to these foods. Cooking is a life skill that I believe no child is too young to be part of.
Tips & Ideas for Experiencing The Joy of Cooking with Kids
Cooking with your kiddos is not only fun and educational – it’s also a great way to encourage them to expand their culinary horizons since children are more likely to eat what they help make. So to help you get started, below is a brief outline of just a few of the age-appropriate cooking activities you and your children can enjoy together.
Age 9 months to 2 years
Why not start early and introduce your wee tots and emerging toddlers to the exciting sights, sounds and smells of the kitchen. For little ones who are mobile, place them in their high chair and give them a separate bowl and spoon to mix foods that are age appropriate for them. Be sure to talk to your babes about what you are doing as they watch you working in the kitchen. Don’t underestimate how much their little minds are absorbing during this fun time spent with you! At Little Fusspot we do recommend you look into weaning the baby-led way. You’ll find more information on this here www.littlefusspot.com
Ages 2 – 3 Toddlers and young preschoolers
This age group is working on their large and fine motor skills, so it’s helpful to stick to simple activities such as:
- Wiping table tops
- Adding premeasured ingredients to a recipe
- Tearing lettuce, cutting beans, washing fruits and veggies
- Mixing, stirring and mashing simple ingredients (use an extra large bowl to curtail messes)
- Preparing own breakfast, raisins on porridge, slicing banana, sprinkle of cinnamon.
- Using a cookie cutter or biscuit cutter, or KiddiKutter knife
- Helping to put rubbish in the bin
Ages 4 – 5 Children
In this age group are ready to begin the fun of more complex tasks, so offer experiences such as:
- Learning to measure dry and liquid ingredients (larger size measurements)
- Kneading & shaping dough
- Mashing a banana or avocado with a fork
- Peeling a boiled egg
- Snipping herbs with dull scissors
- Making a fresh juice or smoothly, manually or with a juicing machine
- Cutting soft foods with a blunt knife (such as pears, bananas, etc.) (KiddiKutter is the recommended safe brand)
- Helping to set and clear the table
- Learning to hand wash unbreakable items
- Sweeping up crumbs on the floor
These tips have come from Beth Bonfiglio at Little Fusspot. She’s a Nutritionist and feeding specialist who deals specifically with problem feeders and sensory related food neophobias.
Her online courses make help accessible for everyone, no matter where they reside in the world.
Find out more about Little Fusspot here