CINCINNATI (FOX19/CNN) - When it comes to eating, the messier the better for toddlers. A new study from the University of Iowa shows all that squishing and throwing of food is actually helping little ones learn.
It's called active learning. Experts say that when young children explore with all of their senses it helps them make better associations.
The study out of Iowa shows that babies who were the messiest, or played with their food the most, were better able to match the word with the correct food. Babies also were more likely to get messy when eating in a familiar environment such as the high chair, as opposed to their parents' table.
So while it may not make much sense to us, it turns out toddlers are making sense out of the world around them.