Toothpick-y eater

Several readers commented on my post yesterday with the picture of Philip playing with spaghetti. The positive feedback in support of letting kids play with food inspired me for this evening’s meal time. This was especially the case since Philip was a bit grumpy after a late nap. I knew I needed something fun to perk him up.

Picking up a marshmallow

In my research on sensory activities, I came across the idea of using toothpicks and mini marshmallows to construct shapes (I wish I could give credit to the source, but I’ve forgotten. Sorry!) I started by putting a marshmallow on a toothpick. This made Philip smile before he ate it. I then guided Philip’s hand to show him how he could use the toothpick himself. He quickly caught on and played with the toothpicks and marshmallows for several minutes. I could see that, not only was he exploring food, he was also working on his fine motor skills.

Making shapes

There were some Froot Loops left on his plate from supper. All on his own, Philip started to pick these up with the toothpicks. That’s what inspired me to grab some other foods from the fridge. I put a few grape halves on his plate. Rather than immediately rejecting these as he had in the past, Philip touched them and picked them up with the toothpicks. He didn’t actually eat any, but I’m hoping he because more comfortable with the texture.

Trying the grapes

Next, I brought out some blueberries. He has been obsessed with these. He won’t eat them, but he’ll go to the refrigerator and take them out. He loves to handle them and put them in his mouth. He still hasn’t actually chewed one yet. He was so excited to play with the berries with the toothpicks.

The blueberries were his favorite

5 thoughts on “Toothpick-y eater

  1. Oh, and I forgot to mention, but the toothpicks is a fantastic tool to help kids play with foods. Along with any interesting utensils you can find. We found this mini plastic colored pitch forks…from Walmart. The girls love to use them to eat their chicken nuggets or whatever. Our therapist also encouraged us to go to the dollar store or a gourmet food store at one of the outlet malls and pick up any small utensils, spatulas, mini whisks, silly shaped straws…whatever I could find that looked entertaining to children 🙂


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