Feed Me Something New!

It has recently become commonplace for my 4-year-old to say at snack time, “I want something new that I’ve never had before!”

Really. I’m not kidding. She says it all the time. It started several months ago after she had become accustomed to being subjected to my snack experiments on a regular basis.

I started blogging in March of 2009. Save a few favorites that have made repeat appearances, my kids have been continuously exposed to new foods for a year and a half. During this time, I’ve become increasingly daring and have gathered a vast arsenal of secret weapons.

My kids are an integral part of the snack development process. They are learning to appreciate new (and old) foods just like I am. And it seems like once we established our own little kitchen subculture, they have become delighted to try new foods. Granted, the level of delight increases exponentially when sprinkles or marshmallows are involved and it also helps if they’re starving…but still.

The trick is that I started preparing snacks with the blog in mind as much as my kids. Experimentation is the rule of the day. Good or bad, I keep moving, learning, and thinking about new ways to make happy and healthy snacks. The end result is that my kids are being exposed to new foods and preparations all the time. And more importantly, I’m not necessarily catering to what I believe to be their likes and dislikes. Occasionally, their reaction to a snack is nowhere near what I would have predicted.

I don’t think my kids’ taste buds are much different than most. Before I started bombarding her with all kinds of new snacks, my four-year-old was well on her way to being labeled as “picky”. Even now only beige or white foods will cross her lips for what seems like days. Even so, she’s willing to try new foods.

If you’re wishing your kids were more open to trying new foods, you could turn your snack regime on its head for a week or preferably a month. Try not to repeat the same thing twice in a week. Make novelty the rule and banish predictability and monotony. It sounds like a lot of work, but aside from the intial adjustment to your routine, it doesn’t have to be. Watching my own children get excited about preparing and tasting new foods has been extremely rewarding.

If you asked my kids directly, they’d probably tell you that they sometimes wish their mom would let them eat a bunch of cookies or potato chips for snack. And to that I say, “Sure, we’ll do that sometime soon…but first let’s taste this thing I made today…”

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Cindy

Born in Charleston. Raised in the Silicon Valley. Live near Hartford, Connecticut with my husband and two children. We have lots of tropical fish.

9 thoughts on “Feed Me Something New!”

  1. This is funny! My kids are just like yours (and a bit older so more influenced by peer pressures I would guess). Sometimes they just beg for something “normal” (a.k.a. the junk their friends are eating) but other days they relish in the attention they receive from their friends at all the unusual things they will eat. I’d say my kids’ adventursome tastebuds are way beyond their friends and I think it has a lot to do with the regular exposure to new things!

    1. Brenda, I like the whole “they enjoy the attention because of all the different foods they eat” line of thought. My eldest told me the other day that none of the kids in her class knew you could make fruit leather at home.

  2. Novelty and change is key! Even I get bored with the same old thing.

    Oh – and my kids LOVE your almond butter balls. Heck, we’re all addicted to them. My daughter wouldn’t try them last year, now she harasses me constantly to make some for her!

    1. Maybe next year when my youngest is in kindergarten? I’d need some serious mentoring first though. I don’t even know what the real point of an e-book is.

  3. Hey Cindy–could I reprint this post in the next edition of Hopmeadow Happenings? We could also include one of your favorite recipes and a photo or two.

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