Food Extravaganza Helps Picky Eaters Explore
Special picnics for picky eaters are just one of the fun community activities being held in July by Up to 3 to help accommodate varying summer schedules for families. According to Amy Henningsen, occupational therapist, the picnics are a fun way to encourage food exploration. "We work on progressing in textures, from moist to dry, from smooth to rough, and we work on what kids will put on their plate or ways they will handle food. For instance, will they hold something by their mouth, will they try to blow a bugle, and then maybe they will move on to eating it," said Henningsen. The food extravaganza is all about engaging the children in a variety of behaviors focused on food. Activities like washing their hands, loading plates, or passing food and utensils to others help children learn, and the activities can be a lot of fun. Finger-painting with pudding, building trains and rainbows with food, and bringing food near the nose to simulate whiskers or clown noses are just a few of the fun activities to help kids progress. "There are a lot of steps to eating, 28 specific steps actually. Often, parents are really concerned about their kids and they are a lot further along than they think. Will they sit at the table? Will they tolerate food on their plate? Will they touch the food? It's all part of learning," said Henningsen. Read more about strategies to help children in food exploration and feeding development here. The mission of the Up to 3 Early Intervention Program is to promote the development of children, under the age of 3, who have any type of disability or developmental delay and to provide services to children and families living in Cache, Box Elder, and Rich Counties. Other community activities for Up to 3 families in July include splash pad play, adaptive aquatics, miniature golf, Duck Day at Logan Canyon, and a fire station tour.