Children who play with their food learn better

One Fat Frog says to enjoy food however you can, whether that’s eating it, cooking it, writing a foodie blog about it, or even playing with it. That’s right; One Fat Frog endorses playing with your food, even though your mom always yelled at you for it. Why? Because a recent study found that it can be beneficial.

The great thing about scientists is that some of them seem to spend days just sitting around thinking of things to research. “What can I try to prove today?” they might ask. “What accepted truth can I disprove now?” another may ask.

A recent study by psychologists at the University of Iowa found that children can learn better when playing with their food. When learning the name for objects, it is easier for children to learn solid objects than anything that can change its shape. For example, apple sauce is a lot harder to understand and learn than pencil, because apple sauce doesn’t always look the same. Being able to handle the object can help, though.

During the study, children were given a variety of non-solid objects, such as oatmeal and glue. The objects were then assigned nonsensical names. By simply looking at the objects, the children had a hard time learning and remembering the names. Children who were allowed to use senses other than sight, however, by touching and smelling the objects, learned and retained the names much better.

Larissa Samuelson, a psychology professor at the University of Iowa, said that the students learned better not only because they can use more senses, but because playing with food is the most familiarity they have with non-solid objects. Similarly, the study found that children learned better when in a high chair versus sitting lower. Similarly, Samuelson also believes that children will be messier when eating food in a high chair because they believe they are in a place where being messy is okay.

One Fat Frog says you should be messy anywhere you want, except when riding in my car. If playing with food makes kids learn better, that’s another reason to let your kids play with their food. The other reason: because they’re kids! You only get to be a kid once, so let them enjoy it.

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