Kids Who Play With Food Might Be Better Learners

December 2, 2013

Kids who play with their food aren’t just making huge, silly messes — they might actually be learning more about the world around them!

Researchers at University of Iowa studied 16-month-olds’ ability to learn the names of various foods in different settings, measuring how much they played with their food — whether by touching, tasting or throwing.

“And, if you expose them to these things when they’re in a highchair, they do better,” said Larissa Samuelson, senior author of the study published in Developmental Science. If children are in an environment they consider “safe” to get messy, they’ll be more likely to experiment with new foods and get to know them better. So, maybe we should forget about our mothers telling us not to play with our foods...

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