Many children, at the beginning of the introduction of complementary feeding after formula or breast milk (between 6 and 24 months), show certain difficulties in this new learning and, in some cases, even rejection. What can we do when that fails? Why are our children so sensitive to new textures? Then from our site we propose you 4 fun games to get your child to try new foods.
There are numerous methods that speak of the importance of two aspects when it comes to introduction of new foods in the child's diet: exposure and exploration. Really, both concepts are very important to offer our children the opportunity to experience different foods, shapes, colors, smells, textures, temperatures, etc.
Hence, it is very important to sit them in front of new foods daily, so that little by little they explore them. After an average of 7 to 8 times of exposure, according to the latest studies, children end up accepting news as everyday.
We talk about child rejection of food When faced with different textures and food groups, some of the following symptoms occur in the child: low weight, delay of more than 30 minutes in the intake, crying or irritability when eating.
Every child requires time to adapt to any change, and it will be important to allow him options for exploration and exposure as we mentioned earlier. If this is insufficient, it is likely that you could benefit from stimulation by specialists in swallowing (speech therapists). The three simple exercises that we will tell you below are only a brief summary of everything that could be done by specialist therapists in early childhood stimulation.
When the child does not explore of their own free will, either due to lack of interest or even due to some added difficulty such as mobility, it will be important to bring them closer and gradually provoke these experiences that would otherwise be lost. For this we propose a series of dynamics, which basically consist of reducing your sensitivity to new stimuli through simple steps:
1. Foot-level stimulation
The sole, the upper part of the feet and between the toes are very sensitive areas of the body in which we can begin to test textures (rough, soft objects, plastics, fabrics, cold, hot, creams ...) and even, stain with different foods (crushed, fruits, etc.). If there is rejection and sensitivity at the level of the feet, it is logical to think that, in the mouth, a much more sensitive area, there may be some negativity to trying certain foods.
2. Stimulation at the hand level
As a second step, right after improving and training if the feet are required, we will do something very similar at the level of the hands. We will work with the same idea of textures and foods, staining the sole of the hand, the upper part and also between the fingers.
3. Stimulation at the face level
As a third step and gradually approaching the mouth, we will also take the opportunity to play with textures and foods, staining cheeks, chin and even the lips. Always recommending gentleness and caresses, allowing the little one to remain stained so that the smell can stimulate their appetite.
4. Stimulation at the mouth level
As a fourth and final step, we could begin to present the flavor inside the mouth. Under instructions of smoothness, even starting to introduce the flavor with our fingers or their own stained fingers, before starting with an external object, such as a plastic or metal spoon.
You can read more articles similar to 4 fun games to get your child to try new foods, in the Eating Disorders category on site.