Since March is National Nutrition Month and St. Patrick’s Day is right around the corner, this is a great time to focus on new green tastes! Not surprisingly, green is a color that toddlers tend to shy away from when introducing new foods and it’s usually the color that parents want their kids to eat the most of. Thus, many mealtime battles are started over eating or not eating nutritious green foods.
Not to fear, here are a few tips to make green a fun color to eat at the dinner table!
Taste challenge: Challenges are all the rage in diets, fitness, beauty and entrepreneur circuits, and I find success in bringing them into feeding therapy too! Whether you use it as a fun experiment, a dare, or just switching up mealtime…I challenge you to a taste challenge!
Theme: Make ‘green’ the theme of the meal or snack. Here we have a lime colored Happy Mat with peas and avocado in the eyes of the mat, bell pepper, cucumber, pear, two types of mini squash, veggie sticks, lettuce and lime in the smile. You can also add a green glass, straw and green smoothie on the side of the mat for a bonus taste!
Textures: Trying different textures can be challenging for kids, but in this fun ‘green’ theme you can try things like frozen peas, mashed avocado, crisp veggie sticks, crunchy cucumber and dainty lettuce. Talk about an entertaining experience for your little one!
Tolerance: This taste challenge is all about experiencing some new green foods with some green foods your child already enjoys. If your child loves pears but has never tasted a lime before, provide both. Even a taste of the lime with the tiny tip of their tongue is a successful taste challenge! We want them to tolerate these novel foods on their plate and trust you as a tolerant feeder.
Tell us about your toddler taste challenge! Use the hashtags: #ezpzfun and #tastechallenge so we can share with others your mealtime success stories!
Dawn Winkelmann, M.S, CCC-SLP
Speech Language Pathologist & Feeding Specialist for ezpz