Peppa Pig Encourages Picky Eaters to Eat
Parents who have children that struggle with picky eating want tips to help their little ones focus on mealtime (and actually eat!). As a Pediatric Feeding Specialist, one of my most successful feeding tips is to make food more exciting, and one strategy to ramp up the excitement is having one of your child’s favorite characters join them for meals! You can shift your child’s picky patterns with encouragement from Peppa Pig – and work on some feeding milestones to boot!
Raking Grasp + Pincer Grasp: The ezpz + Peppa Pig Mat will encourage your little one to build important fine motor skills. This adorable product has two small ‘ear’ compartments that are perfect for dips or a tiny snack. Some fun food examples are a little peanut butter or Nutella or a few chocolate chips they can sprinkle on their waffles!
- Able to use a raking grasp: The “raking grasp” (fingers [not thumb] rakes and holds food) is the first grasp children use to pick up foods. It’s an essential skill that I often see kiddos give up on because they are discouraged when the plate moves around. That’s why using the ezpz mat decreases frustration for kids and helps them become independent eaters. Score!
- Able to use a true pincer grasp: You can encourage your little one to work on their “pincer grasp” (tips of index finger + thumb) during play, but also at mealtime. Have your tot practice this important skill by having them pick up foods that were placed in Peppa’s ears or dip foods into the mat.
Finger Feeding + Pointing: Peppa’s smiling face and cute hands can help your little one practice their finger feeding and pointing skills, too!
- Able to finger-feed soft foods: As your picky eater gets the hang of eating, you will find they want more control at mealtime. The stable base of the Peppa Pig Mat promotes self-feeding by keeping the plate in place so that the hand-to-mouth coordination is more effective. Encouraging toddlers to be successful with finger feeding can decrease picky eating.
- Able to point with their index finger: Learning to point is an important developmental skill. Your toddler can practice by using their index finger to point to foods on their plate. They can also show you Peppa’s ears, shoulders, nose, and hands during mealtime. Naming foods and body parts are critical activities for feeding, language and cognitive development.
Scooping + Piercing: The ezpz + Peppa Pig Mat also helps toddlers practice the developmental milestones of scooping and piercing.
- Able to scoop food using a spoon: The suction feature of the mat helps toddlers successfully use a spoon to scoop foods independently. Mess-free spoon-feeding doesn’t occur until around 18 months, so be patient during the learning process. The ezpz Mini Spoon will help with scooping skills and the Peppa Pig Mat will keep the mealtime mess to a minimum while you endure the wait. Oink!
- Able to pierce food using a fork: Eating with a fork is a developmental milestone that can be frustrating for your toddler, especially if you offer a fork that is difficult for them to hold on to. That's why the silicone handle of the ezpz Mini Fork is the same as the Mini Spoon, which makes for easy motor planning to the mouth.
Making mealtime fun at the dinner table is the first step in shifting your child’s picky patterns. That’s why I love using Peppa Pig to help our picky eaters succeed in their eating adventures. #ezpzfun
Dawn Winkelmann, M.S, CCC-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist & Feeding Specialist for ezpz
Dawn Winkelmann (M.S, CCC-SLP) is ezpz’s Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist and Feeding Specialist. She has 26 years of experience teaching parents and medical professionals how to start babies on solids safely and encourage toddlers to overcome picky eating. In addition, “Ms. Dawn” is the designer of our award-winning Tiny Cup & Tiny Spoon (for infants) and the Mini Cup + Straw Training System & Mini Utensils (for toddlers).