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The Science Behind Messy Eating and Why It’s Good for Your Baby

Updated: Dec 17, 2023

Allowing babies to be messy with their food can be beneficial in preventing picky eating habits. According to a blog post by KinderCare¹, playing with food is a normal and healthy developmental stage for babies. Here are some reasons why:

1. Playing with food helps babies learn to feed themselves: By allowing babies to mess around with their food, they can figure out how to get it into their mouth. This helps them learn to eat finger foods and eventually use a spoon on their own.

2. Playing with food may prevent picky eating: When babies are allowed to play with their food, they are more likely to eat and enjoy what is being served. This means they will probably be more willing to try new and unexpected foods.

3. Playing with food helps babies build their brains: Babies learn through sensory experiences like sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste. The more babies explore food, the more they learn. Playing with food can help them learn to identify and name various foods earlier.

4. Playing with food gives parents a moment to catch up: When raising a baby, every moment to take care of your own needs is precious. Letting babies experiment and play while parents sit back and enjoy their meal can be a nice perk for tired, hungry parents. It also provides another benefit for the baby: watching parents serve themselves and model healthy eating will give them a jump on learning good eating habits.

In conclusion, allowing babies to be messy with their food can be a fun and beneficial experience for both babies and parents. It can help babies learn to feed themselves, prevent picky eating, build their brains, and give parents a moment to catch up. So, let your little ones get a little dirty and explore their food! 🍼👶🍌

1. American Academy of Pediatrics²: This article provides tips on how to introduce solid foods to babies and how to encourage healthy eating habits.

2. Parents³: This article discusses the benefits of letting babies play with their food and provides some fun ideas for messy play.

3. The Bump⁴: This article provides some tips on how to make mealtime fun for babies and how to encourage them to try new foods.

I hope this helps! Let me know if you have any other questions.www.tidepoolpediatrics.com/blog

(9) 4 Reasons to Let Your Baby Play with Their Food - KinderCare. https://www.kindercare.com/content-hub/articles/2017/may/why-babies-play-with-their-food.

(10) Embrace the Mess: How Messy Mealtimes Support Normal Feeding .... https://www.arktherapeutic.com/blog/embrace-the-mess-how-messy-mealtimes-support-normal-feeding-development/.

(11) Reasons Why You Need To Let Your Child Get Messy Eating. https://www.easymommylife.com/child-messy-eating/.

(12) The benefits of messy eating for babies - MJ and Hungryman. https://www.mjandhungryman.com/messy-eating/.

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