Kids are weird. They’ll happily eat raw pasta dough and random stuff off the floor, then refuse to taste whatever you’ve made for dinner. They’re more adventurous when they help cook, but there are still times they don’t want to try something I’m pretty sure they’ll like.
I can’t really blame them. Adults love a lot of terrible-tasting things. Our opinions are not to be trusted.
So instead of “Try it, you’ll like it,” I now tell them, “Try it, and then show me how yummy or yucky it tastes, and I’ll draw your face.” I even made an official chart that goes on the fridge. A few people have asked for copies, so here’s the chart as a PDF you can download and print:
Download the Food Face Chart
Click here to download, save, and print the Food Face Chart (PDF, 148k, plantandplate-foodface.pdf)
If you right-click on the image, choose “Save Link As…” (don’t choose “Save Image As,” or it will look bad when you print it.)
They take a bite or two, and then they can make the craziest, rudest, tongue-sticking-out, nose-scrunched-up face they want, and I’ll do my best to draw it. For some reason “You can make a rude face and I’ll draw it,” is a great incentive to try something new.
Then, if they really don’t like it, I don’t make them eat any more (at least, not that day). It sometimes takes 10 or more tries before kids like something, so I will usually ask them to try it again another time, maybe in a different form.
Of course, sometimes it turns out that they do like it, and the fearsome food earns a big smiley face. In those cases, the chart serves as later proof that “Look, you tried it before and you liked it!”
And that cauliflower recipe really was a big hit with the kids. Check it out here: Mighty Macaroni with Creamy Cauliflower Sauce (recipe).
FAQ: Can I print this chart out for my kids / class / organization?
Yes! This work (My Food Face Chart, plantandplate-foodface.pdf) is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License. That means:
- you can download, print, copy, and share it,
- you can not modify or sell it, and
- you must include credit to www.plantandplate.com (a link would be nice, too).