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www.wmfd.com - When babies eat, they often end up with more food on their face, hands and high chair than their mouths, but all that mess may be more important than we think, as Calandra Corder explains in today's Health Minute. }}" />

Health Minute Talks About Messy Kids And Learning

Story By: Larry Stine



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  Original Published: 12/10/2013 When babies eat, they often end up with more food on their face, hands and high chair than their mouths. But all that mess may be more important than we think. Calandra Corder has more in today's Health Minute. New parents, listen up! The messier you toddler get while eating in the high chair, the more he or she may be learning. It turns out that all of that squishing, smashing and even throwing of food may be helping babies gain information about their world that could help with future learing, according to a new study. It's called active learning and experts say when young children explore with all of their senses, it helps them make better associations. Researchers at the University of Iowa have 72, 16-month-old children soft foods such as applesauce and oatmeal, identifying them with various made-up words. A short time later, the children had to identify the same foods that were now in different hapes and sizes. The babies who were the messiest or played with their food the most, were better able to match the word to the corrent food. Babies also were more likely to get messy when eating in a familiar environment such as the high chair as opposed to a table. So the next time your little one seems to be wearing her food more than eating it, don't worry. She's not making a mess, she's making sense.
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