Recent research points out that there is so much learning happening when the child is messing around with food on the high chair.
Apparently, researchers at the University of Iowa found that this is the phase when 16-month-old children begin to learn words for nonsolid objects, from oatmeal to glue. Earlier research had also pointed out that toddlers are in a better position to grasp readily about solid objects because they can identify them easily.
Larissa Samuelson, associate professor in psychology at the UI, said. "If you expose them to these things when they're in a highchair, they do better. They're familiar with the setting and that helps them remember and use what they already know about nonsolids."
The authors revealed how exploration in their environment allowed children to improve their vocabulary. Early vocabulary is connected to better cognitive development and functioning.
"It may look like your child is playing in the high chair, throwing things on the ground, and they may be doing that, but they are getting information out of actions.Samuelson contends. And, it turns out, they can use that information later. That's what the high chair did. Playing with these foods there actually helped these children in the lab, and they learned the names better."