How To Boost Language During Snack Time

May 22, 2020 | Daily Routines

Figuring out what your child wants to eat can be very time consuming and frustrating. It’s probably even more frustrating for your child, who knows what they want but don’t have the words to tell you. Adding picture choices can be the perfect solution when your child is just beginning to communicate with words and/or signs.

Do you want this? No? What about this?

As your child is growing their vocabulary, I like to use visuals to reduce frustration and encourage communication. For example, if your child can say “eat” or sign “eat” but they cannot say/sign “banana,” you are still left guessing what they want.

Start by printing out pictures of foods that you typically have in your refrigerator or pantry and have them on display. When your child lets you know they want a snack, show them their options with your pictures. Model the words with each picture, even if they don’t imitate you right away, they are soaking in all of this vocabulary!


  • Use pictures of your food instead of cartoons or ones you find online
    • If you don’t have access to a printer, newspaper clippings are fine
  • Turn pictures into magnets so they can stay on your refrigerator.
    • I’ve used magnetic picture frames before and they work perfectly. Click here to check them out.
  • Only display pictures of foods you have on hand

Have you tried this before? I’d love to hear your feedback below!

Alyssa Dudley, MS CCC-SLP

Owner, The Child Inspired