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9.12.2011

Puzzling Behavior

How many times have you tried to get your young child to eat their meal?  I have lost count and become so frustrated that I was determined to do something about it.  This idea popped into my head one day.....
MATERIALS NEEDED:
*one 25 piece preschool puzzle
*child who doesn't like to eat
*a meal

Follow the pictures for the flow of events........
 My youngest isn't the most cooperative eater, and usually puts up a HUGE fuss during the meal which makes everyone else at the table a little on edge.
What I am suggesting here is to reward each bite of food with a puzzle piece.  As they gather more pieces with each bite they can start putting the puzzle together.  Soon they forget that they should be putting up a fight with each bite, and instead can't wait for the next bite to get another piece to the puzzle. 
I stopped reminding her that she had to take a bite of food for a puzzle piece and she just kept eating on her own.  At one point I was afraid I was going to run out of puzzle pieces!
She got so excited near the end because she saw her prize so near. 
The prize was a COOKIE! 
I figure that this worked so well because it broke up the long process of eating into small bites with little rewards along the way.  She even ate her salad. 

OTHER VARIATIONS : You could say each piece is worth two bites.  You could make your own puzzle up with a picture of the dessert you were having that night so it is almost like a guessing game.  This Puzzle game could be used for good behavior at the table, practicing table manors.  You could extend this idea with older kids by having them earn puzzle pieces for good behavior throughout the day and completing the puzzle for a prize at the end of the day

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