When I tell people the project we’ve been working on, many people think I am making a simple kids plate. Although I this is partly true, ‘8 the Plate’ has so many applications that make it so much more than “just a kids plate.”
I am running through 8 ways that ‘8 the Plate’ is truly different than anything else on the market today.
1. Increase Food Selectivity
Upon initial conception of the plate, the main purpose was to help increase food selectivity. This is done by presenting one bite of non-preferred food to one bite of preferred food. The cool thing about this… You get to use a child’s motivation to help them eat new foods! Another element that is pretty stellar… There is research that supports this principle to increase food selectivity. This principle is called Premack Principle. It is also referred to as ‘first/then’ strategy.
Basically, you say “First you eat your broccoli, then you can have your gummy!”
It has been AMAZING to see the results! I am excited to see the potential healthy eaters that result from ‘8 the Plate’!
2. Reduce Overwhelming Feeling During Mealtime
By having small compartments AND a cover, this helps reduce that overwhelming feeling during mealtime. Think about it, your babe is only presented small bits at one time… PERFECT! Your little cutie is only faced with one triangle filled compartment of food at a time.
On a traditional plate, they are presented with the ENTIRE platter of food which may be overwhelming. If they are only presented one bite of food at a time, this seems more achievable. BOOM!
3. Promote Balanced Eating
Does your babe ever go straight for the bread roll when you set down their plate? Maybe the mashed potatoes?
So, my oldest daughter doesn’t always need the plate to eat new foods. Sometimes, we need it just to help promote a healthy, balanced meal! This is a great tool to just spin through a meal with less stress. As the parent, I load the plate in the order that we want her to eat the foods. We may start with the protein, then the vegetable, and then end with the roll. See what I did there? We are loading the plate to ensure that she is eating a balanced meal! She likes all of these foods but the bread rolls are definitely her favorite. So, we use #8theplate to promote equal portions at meal time.
I don’t want her getting full on just the starch and carbs. She gotta eat that protein and veggie too :).
4. Engaged Mealtimes
This has been a fun one for us. I mean, I have a 2 year old! You know what that means during meal times…. DISTRACTIONS!
With 8 the Plate, mealtimes have become engaged and it is amazing. The spinning allows for a gamification and my little one actually stays in her seat during meal times. Yes please!
5. Cook One Meal
My husband did some math… Cooking separate meals is the same amount of time as watching the series of ‘Friends’ TWICE per year. Which one would you rather do?
‘8 the Plate’ helps kids overcome their fears to try new foods. Some of our early test kiddos actually said that they didn’t realize they enjoyed ‘said vegetables; that they previously noted that they HATED. Our product just motivated them to try new foods!
Wouldn’t you love to not have to cook multiple meals a day for your children? This plate could be the answer you’ve been looking for.
6. Gross Motor Development
The oversized center grip allows for tiny hands to easily spin the plate. You know what else this helps with? Gross motor development. Your little one is literally spinning an object at every bite.
I actually had a friend over with her one year old and he was really interested in our plates that we had laying around. You know, because as a start up company, they are EVERYWHERE! In this situation, I started engaging in play with him. Not to increase food selectivity but more to work on motor development. He was really interested in a toy so I used this motivation to help this little man work on motor play by putting the toy in the plate.
Who knew that a child’s food plate could also act as a gross motor development tool as well. #doublewin
7. Promotes Independence During Mealtime
What I love about this plate is that it allows the child the independence to make choices. For one, they choose what they want to work for. What is the preferred food? It also takes the heat off of the parents! You want them to try their broccoli but they can’t access their treat until they do? Well, now it is not YOU blocking them from their treat… It is the plate! Kind of nice, huh?
But, the child enjoys that they are moving through the meal independently. They also have the luxury of giving themselves the reinforcement (the preferred food). This allows for additional independence during meal time! The kids love it.
8. It’s just FUN!
Lastly… This plate is just fun to use! Kids quickly learn that ‘8 the Plate’ is paired with preferred foods (we call this a conditioned reinforcer). This is a good thing :). My girls ASK to use it. Also, the spinning component makes it fun and engaging. These elements were not design features that we thought of when we developed the product. We will call these “happy accident” features that we sure are glad they became byproducts!