|Mindful eating promotes joyful eating and joyful eating promotes healthy eating|
INVENTORS: Carter and Jackie Malcolm
DOES: allows your child to be more actively involved in feeding himself/herself
INVEST: $19.95 (for utensils only) plate ($14.95) additional items available
AGES: 1+ ? (depends on you and your child)
AGES: 1+ ? (depends on you and your child)
GIVEAWAY PRIZE: One set includes the utensils, plate, and mat! Woo-hoo!Your choice theme (garden or construction)
|What do the grandparents think of these utensils? I can see them being the most opinionated about this.|
Not long ago, I wrote an article for Quartz which was also published in The Atlantic about two areas where I wanted to teach my kids about gratitude: food and play. If you think about it, we all can't live without these two things, especially kids. Now as adults, we know that some of our life's struggles will involve these two areas and it may not even matter how wealthy we are or aren't. Struggling with too much or too little food and/or play depends on how mindful one can be about himself.
Some people will face these demons in their middle age and others will start early. Parents of the latter type can either spend the time complaining or be grateful that future problems have shown themselves early, giving us a chance to nip them in the bud.
|These are my two favorite pieces. The pusher ROCKS!|
You think I'd choose the latter but you know what? I have done a WHOLE LOT of complaining. I have said everything and done everything!!!!!!!!!!!!!
- "sneaky chef" type cooking -FAIL- my kids' tongues can detect ANYTHING... even the tiniest hint of parsley. UGH!
- the small portion-frequent feeding approach - FAIL - unrealistic
- the starving kids in Africa lecture - oh and I even showed videos too - most ineffective method by far!
- showing them cooking shows on T.V. - good until I realized that these cooking shows were really mean to contestants! scrapped that idea!
- yelling- of course, FAIL
|Getting my kid to even look at his plate is a huge deal. One tip: I get more results when I say "hold onto your spoon" than saying, "eat!"|
|I think this is just so smart. It creates a level of ability that encourages more independence at the table.|
DOES IT WORK MIRACLES?
My kids' tutor had dinner with us one evening, prior to our constructive eating plates arriving and then she had dinner with us again after they came. Right away she declared Constructive Eating a "miracle." #1 Son is a horrible eater (she had seen that) but with the new tools, this boy was eating neatly, not spilling one smidge of food onto the table or the floor and then this was the kicker..... he was even eating and then TALKING to us like the way grown-ups eat and talk, very natural.... for him, it was alien.
That day, I quietly declared myself The Smartest Mother in America.
|Can a little plate and specialized utensils create miracles? You just have to believe....|
But then about a month later, I had to give my title back. Les miracles vanished- POOF! Why? Well, to a highly fickle and capricious kid like mine, of course, the novelty wore off. But you know... I still love this product because it is designed to promote independence and mindfulness. As long as he keeps using it, I know we are on the right path. I was never looking for a miracle anyway, rather I was looking for a tool and this one is great! #2 is different, but I know this is it for both of them anyway. (#2 sensory sensitivities in the mouth- can't stand fruit and veggies either) Like I always say, the best products are a good fit for more than one kind of kid.
|Very bold in purple and green - I love it!|
CAN YOUR KID "DO LUNCH"? Your social demeanor at work is important too.
Using two hands (as opposed to picking up cut up pieces with one fork) also allows one to be more "present" in the moment: being more mindful. We all strive for mindfulness here- we need to eat with our body in mind- learn to listen to our bodies. I do worry that my kid who hates eating will be really big one day. We must train our kids to be more mindful eaters alone and socially. I like Geneen Roth's tips for women but you can modify for the family.
PROMOTE ADVENTUROUS EATING- For self-confidence and health
Using the same plate that ensures small bites can be helpful for introducing new foods to anxious children. #2 has been much better about trying new foods. This was an unexpected result. All we wanted was #1 to stop eating like a caveman but who knew that #2 would become as much more confident eater (he's 6).
THE PRICE - THE QUALITY- THE BARGAIN
Are you under the impression that things make in the U.S.A are of particular good quality? I didn't want to be one of those people who just naturally assumed this and I but say that this plate makes teh "MADE IN THE USA" label look darn good. The material is outstanding. They are super sturdy and do not stain like other plastic plates and utensils and I have used those super stainers like tomato sauce and curry which contains turmeric, and leaves the same color stain that it does on newborn onesies (you know what I'm talking about).
I rarely own plastic like this anywhere in the house. Oh, and by the way, we've had these guys for almost six months now. They still look great. Nothing has fallen off. Nothing has broken. I will say that I wish my dishwasher wasn't broken but it is much easier to clean this with a dishwasher with hot soapy water. It can get at those cracks and crevices better. Seriously, with plastic that doesn't look dull after using it almost everyday for six months... what else is there to say? It's worth every penny.
WHAT BARGAIN? WHERE?
Better eating habits means no more making three dinners for your family. (my goal before they go to middle school.) This saves time and money and that prevents emotional stress too. Emotional stress causes its own expenses ie. wine drinking and stress eating after yet another food battle between Iron Chef Mom and Picky Child Judge whom she'd like to eject from the table.
You might find this pricey for what you think a kid's plate should be. As someone who has purchased 3 sets, I can say that if you think you really need this then I'm sorry to sound like a saleswoman but I do feel strongly about this. You are wasting an opportunity and the window is only open for so long. I can't see 12-year-olds using this plate. In fact, to a parent of an 18 month old, I'd recommend this set too. I wish I had this for #1 when he was a wee toddler and showing signs of distractability at the table.
|Eating was never an issue for him but fear of new foods is. This does help! He also needs to practice bilateral coordination more anyway so it's a double win!|
MINDFUL EATING: It's for Everyone
I know I complain about my kids and their eating troubles which you or may not consider to be typical kid behavior. The truth is, it really doesn't matter - at least not with this product - because you don't have to have an eating issue to gain a lot from Constructive Eating. I think the practice of having two hands working in sync with each other to take small bites promotes focus and mindful eating and anything that promotes mindful eating is good for all small young humans. Think about all the very big old humans who have very serious food-related health issues right now (gulp- this includes me!). But there is hope!!!!!!!!! Thanks to the husband and wife team of a designer and pediatric speech and language pathologist, who are parents just like us, they have created an awesome product that children can use to practice being mindful at the table. It's simply genius.
And now try to win your own Constructive Eating Set and build more mindful eating ASAP!
Just fill out the Rafflecopter form below to enter to win!
educational toy, best educational game, best educational toy, learning tools, toys for learning, toys are tools, child development, therapeutic toys, special needs toys, gifted children toys, games for gifted kids,
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Where to buy:
Try My Amazon Links and Support Toys Are Tools
Try My Links to Ark Therapeutic- where they have tons of feeding solutions!! These links support Toys Are Tools too!!! You'll also find placemats there too!
Constructive Plate $14.95
Garden Fairy Plate $14.95
Constructive Utensils $ 17.49
Garden Fairy Utensils $17.49
Disclosure: Toys are Tools was not compensated by the manufacturer for the publication of this review. The reviewed items were provided to Toys are Tools to facilitate a review. Reviews are never promised.