Tasty Tuesday – Five fun ways to explore the tastes and textures of food

Cooking together connects math with literacy skills, science, and more while encouraging healthy nutrition and fitness habits at home and in the classroom.

Did you know…?

  • Exploring foods with a variety of textures, flavors, and colors may prevent picky eating
  • Playing with food helps babies build their brains.  Remember – babies learn through sensory experiences like sight, sound, touch, smell, and taste
  • Preparing and eating meals together builds life skills such as relationship building, nutrition awareness, and language development

Here are five fun ways to explore all of the senses using food:

  • Make fruit and vegetable animals – and then eat them! Cut up slices, cubes, and sticks of fruit, vegetables, herbs. Grate foods such as carrots, lettuce, and cheese. Find some foods that serve as “glue,” such as nut butters, hummus, guacamole, cream cheese, or yogurt. Gather smaller items such as dried fruit and nuts. 
  • Make your own pizza. You can either make your own crust (try creating fun shapes), or purchase pre-made pizza crusts. Set out a variety of sliced and diced fruits (pineapple) and veggies (peppers, onions, mushrooms, artichokes, tomatoes) along with pizza sauce and cheese.  
  • Use cookie cutters to make fun shapes out of bread, fruits, vegetables. Children are often excited about the shapes and will try the new food. 
  • Play “Match that Smell” by packing containers with strong smelling foods and spices such as cinnamon, mint, lemon, garlic. Have children match the smell to a familiar food (garlic to spaghetti, or cinnamon to applesauce.  Or you can have them guess the smell. You can even take it to the next level by having the child select one ingredient to use in a recipe they help to make! 
  • Create a rainbow plate by using foods in every color of the rainbow – what a great way to create a nutritional meal! 

Explore these NAEYC resources and more online!

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