May is Better Hearing and Speech Month and Andrea Skoog, MGA Home Healthcare’s Lead Speech Therapist, Colorado Springs, is sharing three creative tips to help promote mealtime success for children.

Feeding your child a healthy, balanced diet will provide essential vitamins, minerals and other nutritional goodies that kids need for healthy growth and development. You can increase your child’s food repertoire by varying activities and strategically targeting new foods with these easy at-home strategies:

1. Utilize different eating tools. Bento box-style food plates, face plates, or a reward tray help to present foods in a funny and less intimidating way. Make sure proportions of foods are appropriate for what your child is currently tolerating and not intimidating with large volumes.

2. Make food preparation interactive. Make a fruit salad by allowing your child to help peel and add fruit to a bowl. Add small amounts of food dye to yogurt to make the fruit salad their favorite color. For children who prefer crackers, the texture of fresh fruit can be a more difficult transition. A successful introduction is key to encouraging children to access carbohydrates in a consistent, healthy way.

3. Repeat new foods in new and different ways. Encouraging your kiddo to try a new food at least five different times will help to increase intake success. Look to social media accounts like @kidseatincolor for helpful ideas and different ways to encourage a variety of foods through repeated exposures.

Bonus Tip: Record your child and allow them to watch themselves back in subsequent food trials.

Be sure to consult a speech-language pathologist regarding any and all feeding and swallowing concerns. Did you enjoy these tips for mealtime success at home? Share them with your social network: