I will never forgot vacationing in Florida and my mother in law feeding my daughter after I struggled to get her to eat. She pulled her into another room and, free of distractions, let her do this:
She had never been so messy. I mean, I’m sure she would have but I always was diligent about wiping down her hands as she ate, scraping her chin with the spoon and giving her a bath as soon as she was done eating. I’m a little OCD about sticky, gooey messes…what can I say?
You might have read my post a few months ago about my daughter’s sensory and eating issues. I never understood how important eating was as a sensory activity until we were in therapy. Letting your little ones get messy is an important step in learning how to eat and handle texture.
Alisha at Your Kid’s Table is pediatric occupational specialist with an amazing blog on the importance of letting your baby get messy. As a Mom that’s been through therapy with her own kid, I’ve really learned a lot about sensory play/eating from her blog.
I’m doing a lot of things differently with our son. First- he eats a lot of meals naked. I don’t scrape his face with the spoon and I let him bat at and grab it if he wants. I don’t wipe up the mess until he’s done eating and I make sure to offer him his food in different textures. Most importantly- I let him do what he wants with his food. Sometimes that means him playing in it and sometimes that means a few bites make it in his mouth!
It is hard for this OCD Momma to handle but he’s happy to make a mess and I do NOT need another kid in “food therapy”.