Thursday, February 6, 2014

A food review...written by kids...for kids...will it work?

In my constant quest to encourage kids to try new foods it brought me to an interesting idea. Why not have the kids become food critics? Now I'm not talking about the whiny, grouchy, pouty "That looks yucky" sort of critique that might be common when trying new foods. I am talking about turning the tables and have them WANT to try a new food. This technique does not involve sneaking in pureed vegetables but it does call for a little bit of persuasive conversation.

If a child thinks that it is a game or that they are somehow in control they are much more apt to trying new foods. It starts at the grocery store. Have them pick out a new vegetable, fruit or new food. Have them help determine how to cook or prepare it (guided by you of course or an easy recipe). Once the food is cooked hand them a magnificent food review and let them fill in all of the questions. Discuss the food and how it tastes, looks, and how it could be improved. Make this a weekly routine,  and odds are they will love it!

Now I know what you are thinking, what if this backfires, they write a review and still loath green peas.  A food review is a way of looking at green peas in a whole new light. First they picked them out, then they saw them or helped include them in a recipe and then they got to explore the food. You didn't argue with them, you didn't force them or bribe them and they get an opportunity to help change the food to a way they might like it.

Sometimes traveling down the road of trying new foods can be a bumpy and uncomfortable one. On one hand you want to expose your child to new foods and on the other hand the arguing just doesn't feel like worth the battle when it has been a long day. It is sometimes tempting to take the easy way out and just make the mac and cheese because you know they will have a full belly before bedtime. The best thing is that as they review, they taste and explore new foods! Add the element of a food review to your weekly routine and watch the kids as they broaden their food choices and practice a little descriptive writing.

For a food review template click here. There are Four versions of the food review so choose the printable template that you feel is most appropriate for the age of your child.

Here is a sample of two food reviews done during the Super Bowl game. My son and a neighbor chose raspberries to review. Our neighbor had never tried a raspberry before. My intention was for them to try the buffalo hummus or the pink cauliflower but I wasn't quick enough in my explanation :)

For future recipe ideas and help with menu planning purchase Take Out Recipes which provides 7 breakfast, 7 lunch and 24 dinner recipes/ideas that can be displayed in slip pocket magnets. Order yours today!

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