When I was a little girl I would take strands of spaghetti and create a blonde wig on top of a meatball. I would even go so far as attempting to braid Mrs. Meatball to give her a rather mid evil peasant vibe. I’d immerse myself into the character I was creating with the food I should have been eating. Inevitably my mom would flick her napkin my way or push the bowl closer to me and say, “Tricia, you don’t play with your food, you eat it!”
Now, as I run around the kitchen, wearing my newborn and trying to get dinner for my four and six year old, I have to say that I don’t really care about the whole eating and playing with your food thing. If the kids eventually eat the food, why not play with it for a little bit first? So, one day after the kids had run out of imagination games and free play was starting to create annoying fights, I called them to the table for a little snack time. “I have a fun new game we can play,” I said, not fully knowing how the game was going to go.
I grabbed some red cups and a few junkie and non-junkie food from the cupboard and set up a matching game. Placing a few bits of each food under red cups, the boys were to take turns trying to match a food and once they did, they’d win the prize of being able to consume that particular snack.
Some snacks were more attractive than others, such as chocolate macaroons and Goldfish but interestedly enough, the boys were just as excited to win a grape as they were to score some chocolate. It was the thrill of the match. Snack time was actually fun.
From that day forward, I decided that maybe my mom didn’t have it totally right. Food does have other roles to play other than just being eaten. And my kids now can attest to that.
Any snacks you want!
I used Goldfish, chocolate bits, cheese, grapes, pistachios, dried fruit.
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