I love a good game. Who doesn’t? A taste-testing game is just the thing to help your kiddos adventurously try new fruits and veggies. The idea is simple – Gather various green-colored fruits and vegetables and have them arranged on a tray. plate, or in a muffin tin. Have them sample the greens and pick their favorites. Kids respond well to games, even ones who aren’t thrilled about eating veggies. Make the atmosphere relaxed with a guarantee that it’s just for fun. You’d be surprised what kids are willing to taste when there isn’t pressure. Here are a few fun adaptations for you to try depending on the age of your kiddos.
- Green Field Trip: Go on a field trip to a grocery store and pick out the green-colored fruits and veggies together. Kids love to have their own baskets. Just instruct them to pick out one green item and then bring it right back. Talk about why they picked it and make guesses about what it tastes like if it’s a unfamiliar one.
- Green Scavenger Hunt: Take along the “Green List” (located at the bottom of the post) and have your kids check off how many they can find. Bring along a stop watch and time how long it takes them to find the items. If you don’t think the store carries everything on the list, ask them to find ten items as quickly as they can. Have them select a few items and then take those home for your taste testing. This is a great way for your kids to get acquainted with the produce department. For you big city folks, throw your kids off and go to a different grocery store across town.
- Green Math: You can also use the experience as an addition exercise. Give the kids a budget of $5 – $10 and equip them with pencils and a notebook or calculator. They will have fun figuring out how many 50 cent kiwis and 80 cent peppers they can get.
- Blind Taste Test: This one is fun for all kids from toddlers to teens. Seriously. The teenagers think they know everything and want to prove their know-how. The toddlers are just thrilled to be playing a game at the table! Use green bandanas or strips of green fabric to blindfold the participants. Place small samples in paper muffin cups and have them guess after each blind tasting. This is especially funny if they don’t know you’re going to play the game ahead of time.
- Talk Show Featuring Taste & Texture: Grab a play microphone or a wooden spoon and invite your kids to teach you about different tastes and textures. After your kids try one of the green foods, ask them to “report” back to you how it tastes using the microphone. Questions to ask for taste, Is it bitter? sour? sweet? tart? tangy? delicious? Questions to ask about texture, Is it crunchy? soft? juicy? crispy? mushy? Don’t scold them if they don’t like the flavor or texture. Just listen and encourage them to try each one.
- Color Me Green: Gather some green paint swatches and have the kids use them to pick out the shades of green in the different foods. After they find a matching shade they get to taste that green food. My kids think it’s thrilling when they finally find a match.
We used broccoli, asparagus spears, lime wedges, green bell peppers, raw spinach, butter lettuce, green olives, celery, kiwi, and granny smith apples. The favorite was kiwi, closely followed by spinach and asparagus. I was even surprised by their gusto for the raw spinach. Cool. It was easy, fun, and they got a few servings of fruits and veggies. The point of all of this is to get your kids exposed to fruits and veggies. Researchers say that it can take up to twenty times for them to like a new food. Twenty seems like a lot. Don’t panic. You don’t need for luck on this St Patty’s Day to get some green into your kiddos, just a fun game.
Which ones do you plan on trying? Any other ideas?