Absolutely! Each activity suggests optional ingredients to use to accommodate most allergies.
2. How much time does each activity take?
Depending on the age and number of participants, each activity could take anywhere from 10 minutes to 45 minutes.
3. My child has preferences for certain food textures. Can the Fun Food For Me activities help expand her diet?
Definitely! The activities are designed to introduce children to new tastes and textures in a fun, stress-free way.
4. All of your recipes are gluten-free but my child has an egg allergy. Do we have to use the gluten-free products in order for the activities to work?
Although many of the gluten-free products recommended are also egg-free, feel free to substitute any products that your child can eat, gluten-free or not. For instance, you can substitute regular Cheerios for the O’s Necklaces if they’re safe for your child.
5. What’s the best place to do the activities?
Almost all of the activities need minimal cooking, if any. You can have fun with them in your child’s classroom, at a playgroup, birthday parties, picnics, playdates, or at your kitchen table. You name it!
6. I find it to be much healthier and cost-effective if I bake my own cakes and cookies at home. Can I still use my home-made goods to do the activities? Do you have any cookbooks that you can recommend for allergy-friendly recipes?
As an avid baker I personally agree with you 100%. However, because I designed the activities to be fast as well as accessible for children to do from start to finish, I don’t include homemade recipes. If you can bake similar shaped ingredients then you can absolutely make it work for the activities! I’ve included some of my favorite blogs with a multitude of allergy-friendly recipes in the Helpful Sites section. We would love it if you shared any of your favorite recipes with us as well! Email them to firstname.lastname@example.org!
7. How much parent involvement is necessary?
The aim is for children to be able to create their masterpieces and then eat them too. Of course it depends on the age and ability of each child. It’s indicated in each recipe where parent involvement is recommended, such as cutting up vegetables or melting chocolate in the microwave.
8. What’s the age group that the activities are geared towards?
At our taste-testing sessions, we have 2 year olds and 13 year olds playing, mixing, and munching alongside one another. You can also give the older kids the role of head chef, helping the younger ones with the more challenging tasks.
9. I’ve tried some activities with my child but she has so far been unwilling to taste anything new. Do you have any tips to help gently encourage her?
Try doing some activities with friends who might be more adventurous eaters. She might be influenced just by watching them. Also, you can offer choices, “Would you like to try black beans today or edamame?” Always make it fun. Create a “Tasting” chart with all the foods that she’d like to try for that week. Some parents lessen the pressure by saying, “You don’t have to eat it, you just have to lick it.” See what works for you but most importantly, don’t give up! They say on average that it can take up to 15 introductions to a new food until they actually start to like it. It took my older daughter two years of cucumber tasting till she got to a point where I can finally say that she’s added it to her regular repertoire of food.
10. My son’s creations never look like those in your gorgeous pictures and he sometimes gets discouraged. What can I do to help motivate him?
Remember the focus is on the process, not the product. The goal is getting familiar with the new smells, tastes, and textures through “playing” with the food. Encourage your little chef to enjoy every aspect whether it be mixing, pouring, or sprinkling. If he likes, let him taste while he goes. You can even take photos of his masterpieces when he’s done and email them to me. I’ll upload them onto the Fun Food For Me site for all to see!
11. Now that my kids are into doing your activities, they seem to think they can play with their food during dinner as well. Help!
Don’t forget to distinguish for your children the difference between doing food activities, where they are creating something that they are going to eat, and dinnertime. Once my own kids start playing with their pasta and peas, I ask them if they’re intending to eat it. If not, then I explain to them that it’s not nice table manners. Hint: When they start playing with the food on their dinner plate it’s usually because they’re either full or bored. Ask them if they’ve finished and if not try initiating a pleasant conversation about their day or read them a story to help distract them until their finished.