All kids eat pizza, right? Actually, a majority of parents who have a picky eater would do a back-flip if their child ate any topping in addition to their plain, no sauce, thin crust, cheese pizza. I teach picky eaters how to grow out of their comfort zone and try new foods using my feeding approach called Symbolic Feeding Strategy.
10 years ago, I started implementing my Symbolic Feeding Strategy when I had kiddos that were so finicky, they would not even stay in the same room with new foods! Using crafts was a fun way to teach kids about food textures through play. For example, I would use red paint because it is similar to the texture and color of marinara sauce on pizza. Try using my Symbolic Feeding Strategy with this adorable pizza craft! It may help your picky eater turn “pizza craft fun” into “pizza is yum!”
What you Need:
- Cardboard box
- Brushes + small spatula
- Cookie cutters + pizza cutter
- Small plates or lids or the ezpz Play Mat
- Yellow Paper
- Cut out a large circle “crust” out of one side of a cardboard box.
- Slop on some “sauce” (we used red paint) and let your kiddo have at it with a paint brush or even a small spatula to spread the paint around. (Most of this will be covered by “cheese” but it’s still fun and an important sensory experience!) Set your “saucy pizza crust” aside to dry.
- For “toppings”, place a small cookie cutter in each color to symbolize green peppers, brown mushrooms, red pepperoni, black olives, etc. Stamp the cookie cutter onto your “cheese” (aka yellow paper). Let dry.
- Cut your “cheese” into a circle and attach to your “crust”.
- Leave whole or cut it to make slices and display this artwork on a plate!
Teaching children to try something new on a beloved food like pizza can be stressful. That’s why this strategy of using the symbolism of colors, textures and even placing on a plate can break through the walls of feeding anxiety for a lot of kids. I hope this feeding strategy will help your family navigate your way to a successful mealtime that includes a variety of toppings on your pie!
Don’t forget to tag me in all your fabulous pizza party pictures @msdawnslp. I can’t wait to see what you make… and now I’m hungry. Pizza anyone?! #MsDawnSLP
P.S. Want to keep the (dough) ball rolling? Pro-Tip: Try using the same cookie cutters from this craft on a slice of fruit or sandwich to make lunch more fun! And check out the book I co-authored for more picky eater tips called, Making Mealtime ezpz.