If you have been part of one of my workshops, in service sessions, or perhaps at our Foodie Nature Play playgroup or incursion, you would have heard me say,

“We are all learning about food”.

Because we are.

We are all learning about everything in fact! And children in a particular, are learning every moment of everyday.

Some benign situations, we as adults forget how in fact new and all consuming they are for little people. And food is no exception.

Food is incredibly stimulating and can be overwhelming from a sensory perspective. Even for children who are neurotypical.

And so, we need to be patient with little ones when they are exploring foods. New foods and foods that might be there 10th or 20th exposure. Learning about food takes time. And learning to use our senses does too.

I love talking to children about exploring their food using their senses . We have five of them.

  1. Sight, which we use our eyes for.
  2. Hearing, which we use our ears for.
  3. Smell, which we use our nose for.
  4. Touch, which we use our hands for.
  5. Taste, which we use our mouths for.

When we are a foodie explorer, we can use all of these senses to gather clues and information about our foods. Before we even eat them.

We can in fact use just one of our senses to explore our foods and leave it there. Or perhaps 2 or 3. It is up to each child.

After investigating and exploring their foods through their eyes, ears, nose and hands, if they want to , they can try using their mouths. No pressure of course.

Next time you are around food, explore yourself the food using each individual sense. And then invite your child to too. There is no right or wrong answer. Just exploration and observation.

With Musical Kitchen, Phoebe and I have a beautiful song called “Sniff it, lick it”. It is all about exploring food. Have a listen on Spotify.