When working with kids who are reluctant eaters, they often are afraid to even taste new foods. They may have had a negative experience at one point with a certain type or flavor of food, and so they avoid trying it again. I will often start by giving the kids permission to spit it out if they need to just to ease the anxiety related to trying something new. We then will start with just tasting it by touching it with the tongue, and then eventually move on to taking a tiny bites, and over a period of time will be taking more and more bite tastes.
A new tool that I have found fun and useful when working with kids with feeding aversions is the vinyl Munchy Ball. We can give Munchy Ball a taste first and then we can have a taste. In the taste tests on this particular day, we tried different flavors of Jell-O. I made them with less water than the Jell-O Jiggler recipe, which turned out to be 1/2 cup of water for a box. This made the Jell-O thick enough that it did not mush up and was easy to feed to the Munchy Ball. It was a success with tasting, and fun to feed the Munchy Ball and then have the Munchy spit it all out.
The fact that the vinyl Munchy Ball is washable makes it great for use in fun feeding activities.
- Jell-O Jigglers
- Munchy Ball