Food is an extension of toys (Feed the schema)
Friday, November 14, 2014
Feeding the Schema
What are Schemas?
Schemas are patterns of repeatable behaviour which can often be noticed in young children's play. By exploring and practising their schemas, children become more knowledgeable about the world around them. Schemas are part of children’s motivation for learning and are a direct reflection of children’s interests and lead to children engaging in and exploring concepts associated with them.
How are schemas useful?
Understanding schemas are useful for helping to understand a child’s motivation for doing something, and that includes eating. Identifying the schema allows you to extend their learning by matching learning opportunities based on their individual interests. For example, if you have a little one who’s interested in transporting things you might say he’s exhibiting the Transporting Schema. If you’re playing in the sand, you’d have greater success at engaging his interest by having him move sand in buckets and trucks rather than digging or burying objects in the sand.
It makes sense therefore to take this schema and apply it to engage their interest in eating. Food merely is an extension of toys in the way a child learns.
- See a toy that sparks their interest
- Reach for the toy
- Put the toy in the mouth to explore it
- Sees some food that sparks their interest
- Reaches for the food
- Puts the food in the mouth to explore it
Read more about schemas and recipes and eating / play suggestions to support them in the chapter "Feeding the schema" in our latest book Worry-free Weaning.
Dr Anna Walton is a chartered counselling psychologist and Felicity Bertin is a registered paediatric osteopath. They work together supporting families with children who have fussy eating habits.