Trying to get children to try a new food is like trying to teach a pig how to sing – the pig will get angry and you'll get frustrated.
It makes no matter whether they know what it tastes like or not – the first response from a child to a new food is one of conductance.
Chances are, that even if they have never tried it before – they will be reticent to try it now!
The more a child is cajoled into trying a new food, the more they will retreat into a caricature of physical revulsion at the thought of putting something new into their mouths – even if
– it looks good,
– smells good
– tastes good
Tricks of the Trade
– Eat the food article in front of the child while smacking your lips and extolling the taste sensations that are aroused in your mouth – this rarely works with older children.
– Disguise the food by putting it inside a sandwich or salad – although I've seen a salad picked clean of anything that is not kosher to the kid.
– Remove all other articles of food from the kitchen except that which you want to eat – no the child will not starve – it will go to a friend's house and complain that you are starving him / her.
– One of the best methods of gaining trust in the kitchen comes from allowing the child to make the meal.
– With a minimum amount of preparation in safety and cleanliness, you can entertain a child for an hour or more by guiding them through the steps in creating a meal that is;
– of your choice (give the child a choice of 3-4 positives from your meal itinerary.
– is good for the child.
– is instructional (You will use maths, reading, temperatures, weights, etc.)
– is FUN.
I had a group of children in my last class that reveled in our food preparation classes.
The following is a product of their own devices – enjoy.
Vegetarian Double Flipper Pizza
– Thin flat bread base – like a lavash bread, chapatti or wrap
– Tomato Paste – 125 gm
– Mozzarella Cheese – 1 C grated
– Pineapple pieces – 1/4 C (optional in Nth America)
– Red Onion – 1/4 C
– Shallots – 2-3
– Avocado – 1 Med Ripe avocado
– Honey – 1-2 T
– Lime – a squeeze or two
– Sweet Chilli sauce – a dash or small spoon
– Sour Cream – 1-2 T
– Spread tomato paste over the bread as a base.
– Slice and dice the Red Onion, Shallots, Mushrooms, Olives and
Pineapple – add to the base (be careful not to have too much liquid
in the ingredients)
– Place in hot oven for approx. 5-10 minutes – to get the bread and
– Remove from oven and add cheese.
– Put back in hot oven until the cheese melts.
– Remove from oven and add Avocado Spread *
– Put back in the oven for 2-3 more minutes.
– Eat and remember the year 4 through 7 students that created this 'Bite of Delite'.
* Avocado Spread
– Remove avocado flesh and mash with fork.
– Add honey, lime, sour cream and a 'dash' of chilli to make a
thick, creamy spread (A touch of grown garlic and ginger will not go