New LEGO® DUPLO® Sets Encourage Fun and Educational Mealtimes Through Imaginative Play
The LEGO® Group has launched a new LEGO® DUPLO® Garden range that helps parents engage their toddlers through creative play, making mealtimes fun and relaxed.
IBU was contacted to share a review for the benefit of all parents, two volunteers stepped up for the demo and to attend The First Lego Duplo Academy quarterly workshop hosted by Amanda Abel, an pediatric psychologist associated with the brand.
Here are the product details, reproduced from what we received:
The new LEGO DUPLO Garden range is expertly designed with fun narratives, bright colors and engaging characters that include a variety of organic vegetables and fruits to facilitate conversations on balanced diets and cultivate healthy eating habits.
The first few years of a child's life are the most important when it comes to nutrition. Kids grow rapidly during this time and require adequate energy and nutrients to support their growth. Proper nutrition during infancy and early childhood is key to preventing malnutrition, growth retardation, and being overweight.
In a world of endless possibilities, LEGO DUPLO gives toddlers a big start in life by supporting their natural discovery and learning process which helps to develop essential life skills such as building confidence, self-expression, and resilience. Mealtimes can be stressful and challenging for parents, especially for those with young children but they can also provide an opportune time to teach little ones about nutrition in a fun manner. With the new LEGO DUPLO Garden range, parents can keep mealtimes relaxed for little ones while allowing them to learn about food and vegetables through imaginative play.
What the expert says:
Amanda Abel, Melbourne-based paediatric psychologist and registered Sequential-Oral-Sensory (SOS) feeding therapist has been working with The LEGO Group through digital media network Totally Awesome to help parents cultivate creative and educational play with their toddlers through LEGO DUPLO bricks.
She shares actionable ways for parents to incorporate active and creative play into mealtimes with sets from the new LEGO DUPLO Garden range:
Play a fruit and vegetable guessing game by placing items from 10982 LEGO DUPLO My First Fruit and Vegetable Tractor in a bag and allowing children to guess the item by touching it.
Ignite your child’s imagination by roleplaying as an owner of a market stall utilizing 10983 LEGO DUPLO My First Organic Market.
Expose children to the food rainbow and a wide variety of produce through questions such as what color is the carrot in the 10981 LEGO DUPLO My First Growing Carrot set? What are other orange foods you can think of?
Spark a conversation on growing organic produce at home by roleplaying with 10984 LEGO DUPLO My First Organic Garden.
The new LEGO DUPLO sets are available across LEGO® Certified Stores, LEGO Official Store on Lazada, Shopee, LEGOLAND™, as well as major retailers and department stores in Malaysia.
What do our IBU Volunteers say
Thank you Meredy and Jean for attending The First Lego Duplo Academy quarterly workshop hosted by Amanda Abel, an pediatric psychologist.
As a mother of two young boys, it is a daily struggle for me to ensure that I provide the best nutrition for them. My eldest (26mth) is a picky eater while my youngest (9 months) loves eating and sometimes overeats things that he should not. How can I help my boys learn more about nutrition in a fun way that they can understand?
Lego Duplo sets can be used to teach children about nutrition in a fun and interactive way. Parents and teachers can use the blocks to create food-themed activities that engage children’s imagination and curiosity about different types of food.
My boys were very excited to see the bright colored and adorable looking blocks. It has immediately caught their attention and curiosity.
Meredy also shares that through Duplo building activities, children can learn about the different food groups, how food is grown, and the importance of healthy eating habits. For example, children can build a farm and learn how vegetables and fruits are grown, and how they can help to provide important nutrients and vitamins for the body. “With the 10981 LEGO DUPLO® My First Growing Carrot, I showed my boys how watering can help the plant grow from the pot. He also gets the chance to play with the carrot blocks to help it grow into a full-fledged carrot. Then we get to harvest the plant! Using 10982 LEGO DUPLO® My First Fruit and Vegetable Tractor set (which are the boys’ favourite), I gave them the opportunity to assemble and “harvest” the vegetables from the field. We also did some pretend play where we would “eat” the vegetables and then become healthy. Parents and teachers can also use Duplo blocks to educate children about the importance of portion sizes and healthy snacking habits. They can create different snack sets using Duplo blocks and teach children about the correct portion size for different types of food.” Meredy adds.
How To Make Mealtimes Easier for Kids
Jean shares that parents should provide the kids with coping skills. This is crucial especially when we have foods they do not like. What can they do with these foods? Is there a “No, thank you” plate for them to put these foods on? Even though they throw it, they have touched it and this increases the chance that your child will eat it again. Some kids need 100 interactions until they try a food. If a child is upset that they cannot have unhealthy food, we may want to practice outside the mealtimes how to cope with being told no.
Jeans share some points on how we can make mealtimes easier for kids.
Encourage play time outside meals to help kids relax. Playing during mealtimes may distract them.
Teach them about traffic light foods. Red/orange light foods are sometimes foods whereas green light foods are always foods. We should try to have these green light foods on the table as much as we can.
Running, climbing, and imaginative play develop confidence skills which lead to self-regulation skills. These skills aid in managing stress during meals. Get them to use up their energy waaay before mealtime so they sit down hungry and are ready to dig in.
Transition into mealtimes. After all that running, we need to help them tell their brains it is time to slow down and be seated. There are a couple of things we can do to ease them into this. We can use a calm jar. Pop glitter glue into a jar, and fill with water. You can add Duplo figurines and coloured blocks. Encourage them to calmly watch the glitter float down as this is a mindfulness technique.
Use the 10981 LEGO DUPLO® My First Growing Carrot sets to educate kids where the food comes from and how fruits and veggies need watering. With the blocks, we can show them how the fruits and veggies grow after watering. Animals like bees can pollinate and can go to the beehive.
We can play with food outside of mealtimes too. Tie in the experience of the farm to plate journey so they understand where food comes from. First, plant and harvest the food with the 10982 LEGO DUPLO® My First Fruit and Vegetable Tractor set. Then, bring them grocery shopping with 10983 LEGO DUPLO® My First Organic Market, they can interact with a toy that somewhat resembles foods they may or may not like (veggies like carrots!) and that’s a win!
Have you got a garden? Use 10984 LEGO DUPLO® My First Organic Garden to bury the veggies and get them to “harvest” them. No garden? Try an ice block or bury it in rice.
Mess is ok. Mess is fun. In fact, kids may feel like eating more when they are allowed to touch, feel, smear, squish, and smell the food. As adults, we tend to cringe at mess, but with my daughter, it has proven to build a positive relationship with food. And even now, she understands that mess needs to be cleaned up after we are done with the fun.
Jean adds “Overall, remember that mealtimes are meant to be engaging and interactive. Making eating a chore will steal that joy from both you and your child. My daughter has her days when she likes a certain food, then after five bites, decides that it is yucky. They are still finding themselves and we, as the adults, are there to let them color their own canvas (yes, even with their food!).”
IBU Members- we look for your feedback too. How do YOU manage fussy eaters?
About The LEGO Group
The LEGO Group’s mission is to inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow through the power of play. The LEGO System in Play, with its foundation in LEGO bricks, allows children and fans to build and rebuild anything they can imagine.
The LEGO Group was founded in Billund, Denmark in 1932 by Ole Kirk Kristiansen, its name derived from the two Danish words Leg Godt, which mean “Play Well”. Today, The LEGO Group remains a family-owned company headquartered in Billund. Its products are now sold in more than 130 countries worldwide. For more information: www.LEGO.com