Yes, to an untrained eye the picture above might not look like much evidence at all, but those out there also struggling through training their little ones palates to taste and eat anything green ..before they move out of the house, will understand that for our little family this was a supreme accomplishment indeed.
I very much love salads and so does my husband and we even love them enough to have them as a main course. Unfortunately though with a little boy who does not like salads or much of what I would put in said salad ..radishes ..tomatoes ..olives ..red peppers, no thanks ..and of course well, any kind of leafy green double no thanks!
I found myself this Summer amidst all of the other ways I was working with my little boys palate, yearning for ideas to just get those initial tastes of leafy greens. So far I had tried a few techniques such as letting him serve everyone salad -he loves doing that- and always placing a few leaves on his plate as well as always pointing out in books his favorite animals eating green leaves. I had also tried thinly slicing lettuces mixed with apples which he loves -that didn't work- and aside from the great progress I have had with his much loved carrot salads .. anything green and leafy was ultimately picked out.
So, a few weeks ago I started looking through online articles and blogs and found some great advice but one tip in particular really caught my eye. In this little online spot the author suggests allowing and being comfortable with letting your child explore their foods .. not so much play as more of an openness to experience smelling, allowing chewing and spitting out ..and included in that was licking! Aha does that sound weird? Well to me it sounded just about right ..for my little boy anyways!
Oh man does my little guy is really into exploring through licking right now ..he has tried many a times to lick my cheeks, arms, legs ..he licks his toys ..he licks the cats bleh!!! And because I know he likes vinegar and he is ok with olive oil I thought why not just offer him a leaf nicely coated in a vinaigrette and say "this is not to eat just try a lick" ..I of course want him to eat it but I wanted him to know up front this was not a pressure to taste but rather .. an opportunity to freely experience .. no taste strings attached!
We have now officially offered him this little salad taste experiment twice once with romaine lettuce hearts sliced and once with the above spinach. He did lick the romaine lettuce and stopped there but surprisingly amidst dinner chatter and eating when we offered the spinach he actually went in for nibbles!
Well Well Well Surprise Surprise!
.. we have ventured on a new path with this one!