Have you ever heard of a Monkey Platter? Not yet? That could just happen, because it is a fairly unknown concept in the Netherlands. In general, it means that your toddler can choose what he wants to eat. Babies and small children naturally seem to choose varied food. That sounds interesting and that is of course also. This is about offering a diversity of healthy products. Research has shown that children do not eat at all unilaterally if they are allowed to choose, on the contrary.
And the beauty is, of course you decide what you put on the Monkey Platter! Because free choice is fine, but within your frameworks.
If only I had known this before
The use of a Monkey Platter has a beneficial effect on the development of the taste of your child. What a pity that I had not heard about it yet when Rocco was a small toddler. I absolutely started with this. Everything for a good - and especially broad - taste development. Rocco is now a decent teenager with a taste development that is limited to the 'P'. While I really offered him all fruit and vegetables and still offer them. Only I can now no longer oblige him to eat it, so it happens regularly that he 'eats something different'. Prepared by himself, though. Of course I am not malle Eppie. I cook one healthy dish, enough for everyone and if you want to eat something else, you look it out yourself.
It seems new, but it is not
The principle of the Monkey Platter may seem new, but it is not. In 1939 Clara M. Davies conducted a number of experiments with small children and food. The findings of her research were surprising and interesting. Every day fifteen children were allowed to choose from 33 foods. The children were allowed to decide for themselves what they were going to eat. Some children threw themselves on the protein-rich products and fats, others on the vegetables and fruit. It was striking, however, that all children eventually received a complete diet with all the essential nutrients. The group of children was a little too small to attach scientific value to it, but of course this finding is interesting.
What exactly is the purpose of the Monkey Platter?
You prepare a large plate or dish with various products and put them on the table, so that your toddler can go well and can serve himself. Of course you keep an eye on him (it is not the intention that he makes a mess of it) but he is allowed to decide for himself what is going on in his mouth.
Benefits of the Monkey Platter
Because your child has the opportunity to choose his eating moments during the day, you get a good insight into not only his needs, but also at what time he prefers to eat. After all, everything goes completely automatically and according to his own needs and / or biorhythm.
What is all on the Monkey Platter
Everything can be put on it. On the one hand this depends on the contents of your refrigerator, but of course also on your conviction or living conditions. Products that do well on the platter are fruit, vegetables, organic meat, eggs, raisins, nuts and cheese.
Not all raw
It does not all have to be raw, you can also offer fine steamed broccoli or fried pumpkin or boiled green beans or a fried egg.
Pay attention to what your child's preference is for. If it is only protein-rich products, then offer the next day a Monkey platter, without protein-rich products, but with vegetables and fruit. Does he just pick the raw food? Then add a healthy dip sauce, which also gives him the required fats.
You can also add some dippers to the platter, so products where you can dip other products. Think, for example, of hummus, a yoghurt or cheese dip.
No unhealthy products
It is unnecessary to say, but of course you do not put cookies, candies or chips on the scale. It does not really have to be just fruit and vegetables. Organic (dried) meat or sausage is fine, or a piece of (goat) cheese or sourdough bread.
For small and large
Not only do children become happy with the Monkey Platter, adults actually like that dish too. I had made this dish to photograph, but as soon as I finished it, the plateau was attacked by a few hungry lions and was empty within no time. And I really do not have any toddlers here anymore.
Also to school
Of course you do not have to limit the dishes to a plateau on the coffee table, you can also fill up with good lunch boxes.
What do you use as a Monkey platter?
There are special scales for sale that can perfectly serve as a platter, but you can also get creative yourself. A plate or plateau is fine, but if you prefer to keep the products separate, you can also use a baking tin for cupcakes, or separate silicone molds. There is no mistake, actually there is only good.
I'm curious. Where would you fill the Monkey Platter?