In our playroom, there are lots of toys we rotate, but the one thing that is a constant is the play kitchen, play food, and toddler table. It’s been fun to see Landon who is 19 months enjoy the kitchen as much as Sophie always did and continues to do so. I inherited our kitchen from a neighbor who was moving and she also gave us plenty of plastic food with it, but after seeing how quickly the plastic food gets ruined, and after learning about the dangers of plastics as well as what happens to plastic toys when we get rid of them, we are switching to felt food and wood food.
A few Christmases ago, I attempted to make a bunch of felt food for my daughter. The pancakes, eggs, and lemon slices turned out pretty cute, but it was more work than my not so crafty hand and patience could handle. I recently found a green eggs and ham set at Felt Food Feast’s Etsy shop and immediately fell in love! You may not know that my son has a Dr. Seuss bedroom and we own nearly every Seuss book and our favorite is, by far, Green Eggs and Ham. This book is a great way to teach your kids that it’s not such a bad idea to try just one bite rather than argue and argue and argue and refuse to eat it. They may just like it! I’m sure you you all know the story of Sam I Am trying to get the other un-named main character to try green eggs and ham. Once the un-named character (we sure wish we had a name to call him!) tried the green eggs and ham, he said he would eat them anywhere! It’s such a fun story and lesson for kids to learn to be a little (or a lot) more willing to try new things.
When you buy felt food and wood food for your kids, buy healthier foods. Don’t stock up on all the cute donuts, cookies, and cakes. I’ve found that felt food is well worth the investment, especially made by professionals felt food and you can play along with your kids to help teach them how to create a balanced meal. As an added benefit, the kids can’t really tear felt food apart and they don’t want it in their mouths! Check out these darling healthy options from Felt Food Feast (How cool is that crockpot?!):
At some point when I totally finish the playroom, I’m going to make one of these Old School Kitchen’s using Ana-White’s plans with a matching table. If you’ve never discovered her site before, you are missing out! When you talk to your kids about preparing healthy meals, share with them that half of their plate should be full of fruits and veggies so we can get plenty of fiber and then ask them what protein source they’ll serve with their fruits and veggies. If you have have bread slices, ask them if it’s processed or a whole grain. Begin to teach them about the process it takes to get food from the ground and to your table. Teach them the simple principle of eating a protein with fiber to help keep them full for longer. Before you know it, your kids will be quizzing you – “Mom, what are we having for protein tonight?!”
Do your kids enjoy learning about food at the dinner table and carry those things over into playtime? How have you been able to teach simple nutritional lessons to your kids to help empower them to make healthier choices when you’re not around?