You First

written by Missy Green, Toddler 2s teacher

Have you ever looked at a certain type of food and thought, “I’m not trying that”? Well, those are the looks I got when I placed certain foods in front of these kids to try. Some squished the food between their fingers. Others literally turned their faces away from my offering. This food study was incredibly fascinating with these little ones. Since we did a focus on the grain food group last week, we explored fruits and vegetables this week. It was fun to watch them try new things and enjoy things they already love. We talked about how fruits and vegetables are good for your body and keep you healthy.

One thing we quickly noticed was that the children were more willing to eat a food if we all tried it together. The best example was apples. One day we had apples for snack and no one ate them. Then, we offered them to go along with our book, Lunch by Denise Fleming, and we almost had a riot on our hands when we ran out of apples to pass out. We also tried different colored (purple, yellow, white and orange) carrots. As long as we showed interest in the food and tried it first, the children willingly gave it a try as well. I proudly announced I was going to eat a purple carrot. I went around and asked what color carrot everyone wanted to try. My favorite reaction was when some kids didn’t like the orange carrots and tried to spit them out on the ground but they loved the white carrots. Same vegetable, but just because it was a different color it was better.

Getting them to play follow the leader in our taste testing adventure was helpful when our 1st/2nd grade buddies came in for a visit on Friday. I asked the big kids to set a good example for their buddies. We requested that they try the foods we gave them, as well as encourage their younger buddies to do the same. It was quite adorable to hear the big kids say, “Watch me, I’m gonna try it. Mmmm, now it’s your turn.” When the beets came around I heard one of the little ones say, “You first,” and wait for their buddy to take a bite. Although the beets were not a favorite, everyone tried them. Our buddies were the best leaders to follow.