Three Strikes and Win:

Your child eats at least 3-5 times per day. That is why I love to tailor speech language activities around mealtime. Honestly, what can be more functional that that?!

Language Milestones Targeted

Expressive Language

Receptive Language

  • Uses 30-50 words consistently 
  • Imitates words easily 
  • Vocabulary increases each month 
  • Asks simple questions 
  • Follows simple directions 
  • Understands "no" 
  • Points to pictures in books 
  • Understands about 300 words

Three Strikes and Win: Meals!

What You Need: Your child's favorite foods

How To Play: During meals, have your child's favorite food handy. This is very important! Your child must want to ask for the food. Start your meal like normal. Offer a food that your child likes but not their ultimate favorite. After a few minutes, show your child their favorite food. For my son, this would be blueberries! Most likely, your child will scream or point to the food. If so, yeah! That is what we want. Hold the food near your mouth and repeat the name. Wait a moment to see if your child will respond. If no response, say the food again as you move it half way to your child. Wait for a response. If no response, give the food to your child and say the food one more time. 

Then repeat!


  • Finger foods such as berries, crackers, cookies, grapes, raisins, etc.. work the best. There are multiple opportunities for practice. 
  • If your child says the name of the food at any time, give the food immediately and praise your child! 
  • If your child is extremely frustrated and crying you may want to only do 2 tries instead of 3. 
  • Place the food near your mouth as you name them. Your child picks up a lot cues about words by looking at your mouth as you speak.
  • Wait time!! Make sure you give your child a few seconds, even up to 10 to repeat the word. Don't rush!

Lunch Script: Script

Parent and child are eating lunch together.

  • Parent: Look what I have! Parent shows child a blueberry.
  • Child: Grunts. Points to blueberry.
  • Parent: Parent says blueberry while holding the  blueberry next to her mouth. Parent then waits 2-3 seconds for a response.
  • Child: No verbal response given, just keeps pointing
  • Parent: Parent says blueberry while offering the blueberry halfway and then waits 2-3 seconds for a response from the child.
  • Child: No verbal response. The child just whines and points to the blueberry.
  • Parent: The parents says blueberry for the third time as she gives the blueberry to the child. Parent then says, Good listening!

If your child, at any time, says the desired word, give the object immediately. This method models the desired vocabulary word and provides your child with the opportunity to repeat the word without frustrating him or her. If your child becomes frustrated after 2 models, give the object. 

› 3 Strikes Meals