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The smell of chocolate cookies coming out of the oven.
The bright red of a ripe tomato. The weird shape of a walnut in our hand. The
crunchiness of a raw carrot between our teeth.

Because all our senses join in the ballet, the simple act
of eating is always the most extraordinary sensory experience. We just need to
be aware of it and teach our little ones about it so they can join the dance,
instead of sulking on the side.

In this little series, we will go through each sense with
a few tips about how to engage your little ones in the exploration.
Today we
talk about the first one: SIGHT

Seeing plays a major part in our appreciation of food. If
it did not, chefs would not spend hours figuring out how to assemble a plate
that excites this very sense. As soon as you put the plate on the table, your
little ones’ sight is mobilised: the shape, colour, size and presentation
automatically excite their curiosity. In
your kitchen or around the table, you should invite them to open their eyes
wide and start by making the most of the colours: the red of tomatoes and
berries, the purple of aubergines and grapes, the yellow of lemon and corn, the
green of peas and kiwis, the orange of mango or carrot, the white of cauliflower
and coconut. Put them all in order on a plate and your little one will delight
in seeing the rainbow… and may want to eat it!

From the very start, you should get your little ones used
to see many colours on their plate. You could engage them by inviting them to
name them, and talk about their favourite ones. They may want to touch them and
reassemble them in the plate in the order they like. One day you might want to
serve them all separated on the plate but the next day all mixed up like a
firework. I would encourage this last
one as it may make your life easier in the future: serving stews with lots of different
ingredients thrown in is a magical time saver for family dinners!

It is recommended to eat fruits and vegetables of each of
the 6 groups daily: red, orange, yellow, green, purple and white. We might as
well start early and get the rainbow do the talking! I promise you, in the
future they might look at you in disbelief if one day you assemble a very beige
dinner. My daughter, aged 3 then, certainly did and looked at me as if I had
gone nuts or ill or something! She even refused to eat my rice with chicken and
mushrooms meal. I had to beg her to do so by promising that the next day I
would make her favourite meal with lots of colours.

Never forget that 80% of our memory is made up of what we see... so if they see colours, they will remember colours! It will become their norm and what they feel safe with.

Do you
struggle to get your little ones to enjoy colours on their plates? Do you need
tips about how to engage them and talk about what they see?

Created On  24 Jul 2017 1:06  -  Permalink


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