Ways to make food fun: Sprinkles

Making food fun isn’t necessary, but it can be a great way to make food more appealing to young children. In this blog, we share one of our top techniques to make food fun: sprinkles.

Young children are naturally curious and love to play. Making food visually interesting or interactive helps to capture kids’ attention and engage them with food. When children are interested in and engaged with food, they are more likely to enjoy the experience of eating and may be more willing to try new foods or those that are less favourable. Using food as “sprinkles” can help expose children to different types of foods, and (if they choose to eat them) consume a more diverse range of foods and nutrients.

Foods that can be used as sprinkles

  • Bread – breadcrumbs, croutons
  • Cereal – bran sticks, granola, puffed rice, rolled oats, toasted muesli
  • Cheese – grated cheddar or tasty cheese, grated parmesan, crumbled feta
  • Chopped peanuts and tree nuts (almonds, Brazil nuts, cashews, hazelnuts, macadamia nuts, pecans, pine nuts, pistachios, walnuts)
  • Desiccated or shredded coconut
  • Fresh or dried herbs – parsley, chives, rosemary, basil, mint
  • Fruit – frozen raspberries broken into little pieces, fresh or frozen blueberries, grated or finely diced apple, sultanas, passionfruit pulp
  • Grated chocolate or chocolate chips
  • Nutritional yeast
  • Regular sprinkles (like those in the image above)
  • Seeds – chia, flax, hemp, pumpkin, sesame, sunflower
  • Spices – cinnamon, nutmeg
  • Veggies – grated carrot or beetroot, finely diced tomatoes, shaved broccoli or cauliflower tips

Some important tips

Sprinkles can pose an inhalation (aspiration) and/or choking risk, so make sure you are there to supervise and help. Place the sprinkles in a bowl, shaker jar, or another container, and ask your child if they would like to add some. Kids can get a bit excited and go overboard, so gentle prompts like ”How about 2 shakes of cinnamon on your porridge. Can you count to 2?” work well. Let them add their own sprinkles using clean hands or a spoon, or by shaking them directly onto their food.

Have you tried offering sprinkles to your kids?

What are your kids’ favourite sprinkles? Do you have any funny names for them? Has this blog given you some new ideas? What other sprinkles are you planning to try? Let me know here.

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