We were introduced to this amazing technique for getting picky eaters to try new foods in feeding therapy, and I wanted to share it with you. Read below to learn how to play the fun picky eating dice game with your kids and download the free printable dice template to make your own "Animal Bites" Dice!
Feeding therapy games from occupational therapy
Our son has been going to feeding therapy on and off as needed. Every time we start therapy I am amazed at the quick progress we make, thanks to great therapists and creative games for picky eaters to make trying new foods fun and exciting instead of scary and overwhelming.
During the last session, our therapist had my bring a mix of foods with me - foods that my son sometimes eats, and foods that my son refuses to eat. (Read more about that in this Picky Eater Worksheet blog post.)
She had him do a "craft" with the food by printing out a blank coloring page (try these mommy and me coloring pages!) and placing the pieces of food on the coloring page to "color in" the picture. She had him kiss the food, and then lick the food to act as magical "glue" and he actually brought these foods to his mouth!!
And then she brought out a homemade paper die that she printed out and made with different animals on it.
How to use the picky eating dice game for feeding therapy
This game is very simple! You child has to roll the die, and then pretend to be the animal on the die and take a bite like that animal.
If it falls on a mouse, he or she takes a teeny tiny mouse nibble. If it lands on a bird, peck at the food to grab a piece. If it lands on a dinosaur, take a big dino bite!!
And LIKE MAGIC, this technique worked!! During that feeding therapy session, our son ate cucumbers, tomatoes, bell peppers, purple cabbage, and grapes!!
Cucumbers were his "safe food" and his first vegetable that he ate, so that was no surprise. But he hasn't eaten bell peppers and tomatoes in years, and suddenly was chomping them down. And he's NEVER tried cabbage before, and here he was munching cabbage like a rabbit.
I can't believe using this food game helped our picky eater son eat so many different vegetables!
Trying new foods and eating independently
Not only does our son try new foods more often than not when using this fun dice game, but he also eats more independently, because it gives him an activity to do at the table! He will just sit there, roll the die, and keep taking bites of food! It's the best thing ever.
Free printable picky eating dice game
I came home and immediately created a printable die with different animals in so we can use the same game to try more new foods at home! And of course, I needed to share it with you.
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More ways to play with food for picky eaters
More picky eater resources
- How to get a toddler to eat when they refuse
- How to get a toddler interested in cooking
- 3 Sensory tricks to get a toddler to eat
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