Eating is, without a doubt, a sensory experience for children and adults, and in addition to the sense of taste, also appeals to sight, smell, touch, and sometimes sound, too. For children, the texture and the color can be just as important, or even more important, than the flavor or taste.
Preschool kids can be involved to help shop, to harvest from the garden, and prepare food for the family. Some activities will not be appropriate or safe for young children, but kids can nearly always help wash vegetables. Raw veggies with a little dip are a good appetizer to munch on before meals.
Your child may be able to stir some dried spices or a bit of lemon juice into a dip and arrange an assortment of veggies on a plate for everybody, although they are also good straight from the ground! A side benefit of including kids in preparing food, is that they are more likely to eat it.
Besides carrots, there are other wonderful fall vegetables but many of these need to be cooked. Pumpkin is another traditional fall treasure that can be made into soup, muffins, or best of all, pie. Pumpkin seeds that are sprinkled with a little salt and roasted until golden are a yummy fall treat.
Children’s sense of taste may vary from one day to the next and they will sometimes refuse to eat a food that was their favorite the day before. For kids to like or even try a new food, they often need to be introduced slowly: “Ok, (child’s name), I’d like to you to meet Squash. Squash, this is (child’s name).” Let kids first touch, feel, smell, look at, and get acquainted with new foods.
Fall has many special flavors. What are some new ones for your child to try this fall season?