Taste Testing

Kids are notoriously picky eaters. Parents often lament the drama that is introducing a new food on the table at dinner time. In families like mine, where children have disabilities like Autism, sometimes we even lament the fact that a grilled cheese sandwich somehow not made exactly like it’s been made before can cause a catastrophic meltdown.

YET, on my Brownies Adventure Board this year, many Brownies were curious about food, and interested in learning cooking skills and trying new things! What are we to make of this contradiction?

I’ll tell you what this Rainbow Owl makes of it, I’m going to make a challenge badge out of it. Each week I will bring an unusual food–treats from other countries (can often be found in the “ethnic” section of your local grocer), lesser known fruit from the produce section, things kids don’t often eat–olives, pickled corn, etc., and whatever else I can easily bring into a meeting and offer each girl a taste.

The rule about Brownie taste testing is: You don’t have to eat it. You do have to try it. even a lick can count! Of course I will never force any girl to do anything they don’t want to do, so they can choose to pass. But what fun will that be? Even the Owls are going to have to set a good example and try every food. And it’s supposed to be fun! We will make it super fun! There will always be one brave girl who will take the plunge first. I expect lots of laughter and silliness. That’s cool!

What I hope we learn along the way is that food is an experience. It’s okay to not like some foods. I’ve yet to meet anyone that loves all foods. But food is fun, and we can try new things–it won’t kill us to taste something we don’t like. Let’s learn how to describe foods, and how to evaluate them. Maybe we will discover that food isn’t so scary after all. Let’s be brave and discover new things!

I’ve created a taste test for my Brownies’ folders. They can score each new food they try. It gives them something to focus on, rather than fear of the new and unknown. It’s bit of a science experiment, for which we should record our findings. This first printable is just the beginning. I hope to eventually expand it into learning more about nutrition and nutrients. Maybe develop an understanding of the concept of food chains and responsible eating.

But for now, it’s just for fun! And we will definitely start with something fun. This first week’s adventure will be Tim Tams. Tim Tam is a brand of chocolate biscuit made by the Australian biscuit company Arnott’s. It consists of two malted biscuits separated by a light chocolate cream filling and coated in a thin layer of textured chocolate.

This tasty treat is beloved of children in Australia and is readily available at many grocery stores across Canada. I think it’s a really good start, it should be a positive reaction. After all, millions of children in Australia can’t be wrong, right??

Here is the printable I’m using to get my Brownies Taste Test Challenge off the ground. Feel free to use it, or make your own!

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