London: The world’s first sensory restaurant for babies, which aims to encourage healthy eating from a young age, opened its doors yesterday.
Time to tuck in: Good health: Little ones will be seated in highchairs at interactive tables, from which they can choose from their own digital menus. Representation pic/Thinkstock
With the aim of helping mothers and fathers introduce their little ones to healthy eating habits early on, the Weeny Weaning Restaurant aims to help families make mealtimes fun through sensory play and expert advice. It is aimed exclusively at children aged 4 to 12 months.
The restaurant in Clapham in London features a sensory area where mini diners are encouraged to play and explore before taking their seats.
‘If you can involve your little ones in the food preparation process, such as giving them veggies and fruits to play with, it will make them more engaged from the start,’ explained Consultant Infant Nutritionist Claire Baseley.
‘Letting them see, touch and smell the food will make them feel involved and in return they will be more likely to try new tastes.”
Acquring a new flavour
Babies are then encouraged to try new flavours, and discover and accept new foods and tastes, in the ‘taste zone’.
Little ones will be seated in highchairs at interactive tables, from which they will be able to choose from their own digital menu, allowing them to select their own mains and desserts.
Through these interactive menu, “They are able to look at colours and shapes and engage their senses visually, which will make them more excited about new shapes, textures and foods they try,” said Claire.
Paul Lindley, founder of Ella’s Kitchen, who are behind the restaurant, said, “Since I set up Ella’s Kitchen, our mission has been to help create healthy relationships with food for little ones.
The very first tastes babies try when starting out on weaning are so important, so it’s our aim to make this experience easy and enjoyable as possible. That’s why we’re delighted to open this innovative restaurant, which helps babies get used to trying lots of delicious new flavours in a really fun, sensorial way.”
>> Creators say that the colourful interactive menu features state-of-the-art technology, designed for little fingers to tap and touch, and generate sensory engagement.
>> It uses visuals of fruit and vegetables to introduce babies to the ingredients they are about to munch on.
>> Depending on the number of times they tap a food icon over a 30-second period, the menu responds and the waiters bring the children their choice of food, which has been developed with advice from child nutritionists.