Food Refusal Tip: Meal Time Detective

Food Refusal Tip: Meal Time Detective

I wanted to share with you a successful strategy for toddlers and preschoolers.

As many of us know, toddlers and preschoolers are notorious for refusing meals or declaring they dislike something before giving it a go.

As hard as it can be at times we really do want to avoid over-encouragement, begging or pleading with our child to eat.

FOOD EXPLORATION and setting our child up as a Meal Time Detective is such a great way to get everyone involved in a meal, encourage learning and remove the pressure to eat.

What is food exploration?
It's simply exploring facts and sensory information about food. This is an
ideal tool from 2 years+

How do we use food exploration?

Ask questions:
• Do you think this carrot is crunchy or soft? What else have you tried
before that is crunchy? What have you tried before that is soft?
• What sound do you think this will make when I bite it?
• Do you think this apple is juicy or dry?
• How many seeds do you think we can count on this strawberry?

• I wonder what sound this pea will make when I bite it. Oh, did you hear
that! I think it popped!

Explore with hands:
• What colour do you think I'll find when I slice this blueberry in half?
• How many seeds do you think we will find in this tomato?

Real example:
A few years ago my then 3 year old was served peas and before she tried them she said"I don't like them" (sound familiar!?)

Instead of talking about whether or not I thought she should try them I picked
up a pea from my plate and said "I wonder what sound it will make when I
bite it. I think it might make a popping sound! What do you think?"

I bit the pea and said "oh, did you hear that? I think it popped! Should we try
it again?"

Low and behold, she wanted to try it herself and went on to eat about 3 peas
(a success!). Even if she only touched the peas, this would be progress from
declaring 'I don't like them'.

I would love to hear if you try this and how it goes for you!


Feeling overwhelmed and frustrated at meal times? I've got you mumma. Download my FREE First Steps to Meal Time Success guide today.