Getting young children to try new foods—even something as unfamiliar as fresh parsley—just got a whole lot easier thanks to Lainy’s Polite Bite, a new book written by registered dietitian, Emma Fogt.
I work with a program called, Kids Cooking Green in Lexington, MA, and this week, I stopped by one of their preschool programs to read Lainy’s Polite Bite. The book chronicles the adventures of Lainy, a sluggish ladybug who drinks Bug Juice morning, noon, and night until her friend, Benny Bumblebee encourages her to take a “polite bite” of some new and nutritious foods: apples, oranges, and edamame.
The result of all those bites: Lainy gains energy, colorful spots, and can finally fly … and she realizes that she possesses the courage to go out of her Bug Juice comfort zone by trying new things.
The kids gobbled up the story …
… and they made a version of my Wild Rice Summer Salad with farro, bell peppers, chickpeas, feta cheese, dried cranberries, green onions, kale, parsley, and a zesty lemon dressing.
(It’s been a long, snowy winter, so we all decided that it was high time we started thinking about summer!)
Sometimes it just takes some gentle persuasion (and a summer picnic!) to encourage young children to take that first “try it” bite. Lainy’s Polite Bite got the kids excited, and they all seemed to relate to it right away.
I discussed the book with some of the parents after the class, and they loved the idea of trying the Polite Bite strategy at home. (In the above photo, the kids are drinking smoothies which we made with frozen peaches and Wild Blueberries, a clementine, and plain yogurt.)
What’s your best strategy for getting kids to try new foods?