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COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL › › Encourage children to experience and taste a variety of foods. It is okay for children to dislike some foods. Use descriptive language to identify the taste: “You like sour foods. Pickles are sour, just like lemons.” › › Cook with young children. This is not only fun; it also provides opportunities to distinguish the taste and texture differences of a raw carrot from a cooked carrot. Children enjoy eating foods they prepare.   See pages 61–63 and 96 for more about cooking with children. › › Include salty (pretzels), sweet (fruit), sour (pickle), and an occasional bitter (radish) food for children to experience. Keep the activity fun, and never force children to taste new foods. Touching Preschool children can identify objects by touch alone and thus sharpen their knowledge of the feel of surfaces. This doesn’t happen in isolation, but rather in a carefully sequenced interaction with their environment. The more opportunities they have to feel different textures with descriptive vocabulary, the better they will be in discerning differences. Just as you comment on the colors of items in their environment, try also to talk about the feel of something: “This leaf is green and feels smooth, but this brown leaf is scratchy and crumbles easily.” “Can you feel the veins in this leaf?” When you show interest in an attribute, the children will be interested too. › › Offer a variety of foods from different cultures. Discuss how soy sauce is salty and salsa is spicy. › › Compare the tastes of some of these foods: Sweet and dill pickles or black and green olives Oranges and tangerines, lemons and limes, or pink and white grapefruit Green and wax beans or pinto and black beans 22  C h a p t e r 2 COPYRIGHTED MATERIAL