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Food Chaining: Language-Learning Food Activities

Posted Aug 11 2008 12:00am
Don't overlook fun language-learning themes you can add to your feeding therapy sessions. For example, the great idea Stacey used with Ewan and Vaughn of learning all about baseball and hot dogs/popcorn. There are so many learning possibilities off of that activity. Get out your baseball cards and have some fun. Here are some fun ideas...you can make things as simple or as complex as desired. Think themes like fairs, carnivals, picnics, a luau (Alicia did a whole unit on Hawaii and volcanoes), ice cream socials, lemonade stands, holiday food and birthday parties. You can make, color and decorate party hats, talk about colors and shapes, add color to frosting, make cookies of different shapes and sizes..while working on helping the child feel safe around food. Make your own restaurant or cooking show. You might have a beach BBQ, a bakery or pizza parlor theme in therapy. Add music and costumes like beach balls, picnic baskets, a chef hat or apron. Make your own McDonald's commercials. There are more foods at Mickey D's than chicken nuggets. Much healthier choices now. Peel your own apple slices for a homemade Kid's Meal and use that in your commercial. Film your commercial, these are great memory makers too. Make your own grocery store, you can go as simple or as complex as you want... this is a good money activity too. Paint a color plate (craft stores can be great fun) and match the colors of foods or follow the food pyramid toward healthy eating goals. Try Dole 5 a Day website for fun games for kids to help children learn about healthy eating. You can learn about fishing, farming and agriculture. Teach kids about seasons, how foods are made or grown and how they get to the grocery store. There are endless possibilities, tractors...get a toy tractor theme going. Put some vegetables in the back of the toy truck. Just touching the food is a huge step forward. Or put pieces on a toy train or truck/plane and teach about how food is transported. Video sites like www.cosmeo.com are very fun to use in treatment. You can introduce foods that are traditionally associated with certain countries and learn about the world while working to expand the diet. Go to Google Earth and fly to the country. I had a patient come to my clinic from Italy and we learned so much from them while they were here for a week of intensive treatment. It was a great way for us to be together, share information and recipes. I will always treasure that experience and I learned a lot!

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