Thanksgiving is around the corner, and with it comes lots of food! So as well as being thankful for all the blessings God has given us, let’s also be thankful for our tastebuds. This is a great time of year to teach our little creatives about different types of food and different tastes. It’s also a great opportunity to build some stepping stones to help our children describe their food and what they like and don’t like about it. For example, instead of saying “gross” help them say “that’s spicy” or “its too salty”, or instead of saying “yummy” they can describe it as “sweet” or tell you how they like how it melts in their mouth (not in their hands) 😉 Giving them the tools to describe how things taste, will give them the skill of better communication, and we all know communication is key!
FOOD – anything and everything works here, try and get a variety of textures, colors and tastes to compare, here’s what we used:
- Chewy – cranberry’s, raisins
- Crunchy – chips, carrots, walnuts, dried banana’s
- Sticky – honey
- Creamy – milk
- Sweet – coconut shreds, chocolate chips, cherries, sugar, juices
- Sour – lemon
- Spicy – cloves
- Salty – salt, chips
- Neutral – water
- Green – basil, spinach
- Brown – cinnamon
- Red – Cherries, cranberries
- Yellow – Lemon
CONTAINERS (for the food) – try and present the food samples in a nice way, if it looks nicely presented your creatives will probably be more inclined to try it.
PARENT TIP: Let the children talk, allow them to tell you what they think they taste, try your best not to influence them with how it ‘should’ taste
1. SET the tasting table, arrange all the food nicely so that the creatives are excited when they see it!
2. EXPLAIN the rules of the game. Start with showing them the food they’re going to taste, let them know what order you’ll be going in, then give a little explanation on our tastebuds, different kinds of tastes, and different words they can use to describe the taste and texture of the food.
3. TASTE the food samples.
4. DESCRIBE the taste and texture.
ASK: What color is it? How does it smell? How does it taste? What texture does it have? What else does it taste like? Is it hot or cold?
My Take Away:
My little creatives were SO excited when they saw the taste test table. They were really into it, which was great! There were definitely some bigger hit foods than others, but they tasted them all. The great part of this exercise was that it was the gift that keeps on giving. Later when we were eating dinner and they said they didn’t like a specific type of food, we asked them to taste it for us then describe the taste. If they weren’t so much into describing it we’d lead them a little by asking ‘does it taste salty? or sweet? was it crunchy? or a little chewy?’ Asking them these questions distracted them from whatever they initially didn’t like about the food and got them to focus on the taste. I’d say 8 out of 10 times they actually didn’t mind the taste at all. Once they realized it tasted good to them they ate it! We continue to use this trick today. Using this trick always reminds me of how blessed we are to have such yummy food to taste!
Do Tell: Leave your comment below
- What foods did your kids like most / least?
- What food had the best reaction, or description?
- Do you have any good tips on getting your creatives to try food they think is ‘yucky’?