Harvest Time- Getting Kids to Try New Foods

by Meri on June 25, 2013













We bought a house last summer that includes several fruit trees on the property. Lucky for us! One tree is a beautiful grafted plum and apricot tree which is ripe and ready to harvest. I love growing our own food and have plans for some vegetable gardens along the side of the house as well.

One great benefit is kids learn first hand where their food comes from. At this early age everything is a new learning experience. My kids enjoyed seeing the flowers in bloom but kept correcting me like I was completely off my rocker, “these are flowers mom, not fruit!!!” Once the fruit started to mature they waited patiently to see “orange” and “purple” appear. Mr. would frequently check in the morning and report, “no orange today”. The biggest benefit with this sort of hands on experience is it makes them excited about trying new foods.

I did my own little test to prove this theory (at least in my small household). Prior to our tree being ready to harvest, I purchased apricots and plums from the store and asked my little trio if they wanted to try them. They all said “no”. Eventually Birdie tried a bite but wasn’t that interested in having another. Once our tree ripened we went out with baskets and picked what we could and they couldn’t wait to eat the fruit AND said they really liked it. Even my pickiest I-only-eat-peanut butter-bread-and-frozen-blueberries kid enthusiastically tried them.

I find this same thing occurs when I let them choose their own fruit or vegetable at the store or if we cook something together. They become more curious and want to try new foods. It goes a long way to simply let kids be involved in some way. Heck, plums are Birdie’s new favorite. Now I have to watch her because she pulls up a chair to the counter and grabs them without my knowledge. I later find the evidence of plums on her shirt and face along with mysterious plum pits on the playroom floor. So resourceful that one.



{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Nina June 28, 2013 at 8:47 am

So very true! We don’t have trees or a garden but I find that the more my 3yo is invested and curious about food, the more he’ll try it. For instance, cooking or choosing food makes him want to eat it more. Then again my little guy loves eating so I never really had to deal with picky eating, but even then I still notice a difference when he has more ownership of the food and eating process :)


Meri July 1, 2013 at 4:01 pm

Works like a charm! I agree…even being involved with food choices and cooking makes a difference!


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