› › 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
› › 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
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