The most common foods that we see students gravitate to are cheese, bread, pasta, and our sunflower butter and jelly sandwiches. These foods provide them with the feelings of comfort and safety, and end up being their go-to choices at lunch.
To help encourage our students to try new foods, we train our food service staff to utilize and pass around our sample cups with items that the students might have overlooked, while also praising them for creating colorful plates.
Sometimes, we even create contests at our schools like “the most colorful plate” or “the most creative taco” or “the most inventive salad,” to get them excited about the countless possibilities available to them.
At lunch, students also observe the food selection made by their peers, and oftentimes will select more diverse items because of this. We also work in concert with their teachers to help support their healthy eating habits at lunch.
To help those parents who have children with picky eating habits, we wanted to share some resources with you that might help you on your quest to expanding the palate of your child.
If you are a parent of a picky eater you are not alone, there are plenty of parents going through the same thing. If you would like any support from us, we are happy to help. Please feel free to contact us!
- Here are the sample cups that we use at lunch
- Check out Melissa d’Arabian’s Picky Eaters Project, really insightful
- Learn more about Jill Castle and her book
- Check out the Ellyn Satter Institute
- Read this NPR article about food autonomy, and exposure to new foods
Photo courtesy of ShardsOfBlue