Talking about food is something I sincerely enjoy, and I’ve found that it’s an incredible avenue to explore in therapy. As listed in one of my top five props list, having fake food creates so many opportunities for children to develop a variety of skillsets. Check out the video below to see the chant that is attached, along with some of the ideas on how I use this intervention!

Chop Chop Visual mentioned in the video!

  • Academic
    • Naming vegetables/food items
    • Memory recall- what did clients choose to add already?
    • Have client add an item by giving them the first letter (“Let’s add the food that starts with “c”)
  • Emotional
    • Sharing how a particular food makes them feel (gross, excited, yucky, hungry, etc.) Children have a surprising amount of feelings attached to certain foods.
    • For children who have food issues (GI tube, allergies), playing with food can be a way to heal the traumatic relationship. Take this very slow with this population and give lots of choices to support client control!
    • Open up a discussion about who the client cooks with, who they eat with, and what types of rituals revolve around food time at their home.
  • Social
    • Each member of the group must wait their turn to add item
    • Also, clients wait until their turn to “stir” the soup (maybe with a partner!)
    • Have each client choose a piece of food to start, then when their item comes up they can add it into the “soup”.
  • Add Art
    • Classic macaroni necklaces, bracelets, etc. This is a great way to continue to food conversation listed in the emotional domains above.
  • Add Drama 
    •  For children who might be interested in pretend play and/or drama, it would be interesting to see what types of characteristics a client brings to each piece of food. Is the carrot serious? Is pizza funny? Why?
    • This could be a great spin-off for older children who could write a script, create music, or turn the food theme into some type of musical/theater piece.

There are so many directions to take food. How have you used food in your sessions? I’d love to hear from you!


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