Holiday Sale: Get 15% off our ebooks with code CHEER2021

Best Gifts for Kids to Promote Better Eating

You are currently viewing Best Gifts for Kids to Promote Better Eating

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. That means Kids Eat in Color® gets commissions for purchases made through links in this post. As an Amazon Associate, Kids Eat in Color® earns from qualifying purchases. All opinions remain my own.

Inside: Stumped for gift ideas this year? Do yourself a favor and try some of these gifts that kids will love, and also promote better eating. I’ll tell you how in this ultimate gift guide!

Looking for double-duty holiday gifts? You know, the ones that are fun to open, but also are 100% practical and make your parent-life easier? I’m the queen of practical gifts, because in our 2-bedroom apartment, we don’t have room for much else!

When kids have fun with food it reduces pressure. The first step to getting them to try new foods! A novel and exciting gift for them, a long term win for you.

Here’s my go-to list of top gifts that will help your child eat better. They also pave the way for family mealtime bonding!

Interactive Plates to Engage Little Hands

white plate with rail road tracks and personalized name train station with a vegetable sushi train with berry wheels

An exciting way to entice young eaters at meal time and promote sitting for longer periods is by offering a fun plate or eating utensil. They make food play super easy.

I like to ask my kids if they can use the forklift fork from the construction plate set to see how much they can scoop of a new food from one “dig site” to another on the plate.

Some of my favorite interactive plates for kids are:

Unique Utensils for Their Unique Personality

Two divided stainless steel lunchboxes with sandwiches, berries, grapes, cherries, cantaloupe and a small cheese wheel with a star cut out of the red wax shell.

When we think about eating utensils, we tend to picture forks, spoons, knives, etc. It is so important for kids to learn how to use these utensils. We can also make them a little more interesting to get our kids to the table (and stay there).

Utensils are also an opportunity for introducing some completely new tools that they may be intrigued by.

We like to switch it up by using tongs during family-style or buffet style meals, and including a pair of kid friendly chopsticks in their lunchboxes once in a while. Let me share my favorites with you!

Bonus: They are all the perfect size & shape for stocking stuffers.

Get Them Involved in Dinner With Their Own Cooking Supplies

flower shaped small cookie cutters and strawberries

Do your children gravitate towards sharp or dangerous objects? Phew, mine too. One way I like to get my more selective eater to accept new foods is by having him join me in the food prep with a kid-safe knife.

Cooking together is a great way to get in some one-on-one time with your child, and helps them get more food exposure experiences through interacting with new foods.

Chopping, peeling, or doing food science experiments are great desensitization strategies for toddlers who aren’t eating. A few essentials for your mini sous chef that would make awesome gifts this year are:

Generate Excitement for Lunch With Cute Lunchbox Accessories

two open stainless steel lunchboxes with silicone baking cups as dividers. Mini sandwhich squares, clementines, apple stars, pomegranates, broccoli & carrots and date energy balls

So you’ve found your perfect lunchbox. Now how do you get them to ACTUALLY eat the food inside it? Cute accessories can grab a kid’s attention for 5 seconds and next thing you know, they are interested in eating the meal.

Food Picks

A classic lunchbox accessory around here, is the food picks like the ones shown in the image above. They are great for ages 3+

They are a quick and easy way to dress up lunch and give your child a little surprise food friend. These come in a variety of different themes which makes it so easy to find a set that is perfect for your little eater. Here are some cool food pick friends your child may like:

Food Containers

When your child is selective, they may not enjoy their food touching. In fact, it may completely disgust them when their food touches! We can help our little eaters feel more comfortable at lunchtime by sprinkling in some fun ways to keep their food contained. Here are some of my favorite hacks for separating my kid’s lunch options inside their favorite lunchbox.

Keep Them Hydrated With a New Water Bottle

divided stainless steel lunchbox with two sandwhich halves, mixed berries and cherries, a long toothpick with edamame skewered through, carrots and date energy balls.

Do you struggle with ensuring your child drinks enough water? We like to play a game where we put a rubber band on my kid’s water bottle. Then, we make it a race to see who can get to the band first!

When it comes to water bottles, we use them so frequently that they need to be able to last and endure whatever our kids throw at them.. Or throw them INTO. My recommended water bottles for kids are:

Gift giving tip: When gifting a water bottle or thermos, stuff the inside with their favorite small toys, art supplies, or other cute lunchbox accessories for an extra surprise!

Gift Them Books About Foods & Meal Time Traditions

divided lunchbox with apple and cucumber stars, a muffin, a flower shaped silicone baking cup filled with chickpeas and brown rice shaped like a panda bear.

Reading books that mention foods can be a huge stepping stone on the path to trying something new at meal time. Seeing unfamiliar foods in the pictures of the books and thinking about them in different scenarios through the storytelling helps your child become familiar. We love to read these stories about different foods and meal traditions:

Gift giving tip: Use the book as a card and write a special message inside with your favorite part of the story or how you like to enjoy the food in the book!

Encourage Food Fun Through Games & Activities

lunchbox with mini sandwhich squared that have animal toothpicks in them, an avocado with eyes, fruit and vegetables

Games or activities that show a mix of familiar foods with ones your child is still learning about are a super engaging way to get them thinking about those new foods in a different way.

Associating a positive experience with a food, like playing a game with your family, can translate to another positive interaction with the food when it is on their plate down the line. Plus, games and activity kits make super great gifts!

However your family is handling gifts this year, maybe this guide sparks some new ideas about how to incorporate your child’s feeding goals into the gift-giving season. What are your gift giving traditions? Share in the comments!

Jennifer Anderson

Jennifer Anderson is a registered dietitian with a masters of science in public health from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She is the founder and CEO of Kids Eat In Color - the world’s leading resource for helping get kids on the path to eating better without the mealtime battles.

This Post Has One Comment

  1. Claire

    Great ideas and resources. Thanks for adding links to where everyone can buy them. It would be also awesome to have some suggestions that aren’t on Amazon (as there are some of us who don’t love supporting it)! 🙂

Leave a Reply