As I eat my way through Yucatán, Mexico, i’m reminded of all the new foods Paolo was able (and willing) to try while when we last visited the area. He ate and liked the octopus appetizer pictured above.We try to keep that sense of adventure at home as well. Anybody out there do food “field trips” with the family? If you can get the rest of the family to buy into it, it can be a ton of fun. I saw an suggestion in a Family Fun magazine last year about rewarding kids for trying new and exotic foods. I tweaked it a little (The Family Fun person called it the Picky Eater’s Card or something and I wanted to make it a little more positive.) and made up a simple index card. I numbered it 1-10 and titled it “Paolo’s Adventurous Eater Card”. When he filled it up he could pick out three things from the Target Dollar Bins. He filled the first one in a Japanese restaurant, so fast I had to make it a little harder; 20 items. We’re still using the cards these days, but it’s evolved a bit. When asked to try a new food, Paolo asks if it will count on his Adventurous Eater card, but never remembers to put it on the card. So he’s weaned off the reward part and still up for trying new foods and restaurants…sometimes.
I’ll leave you with a picture of a new favorite from Mexico, chicharrón de queso. As a Wisconsin girl, it’s right up my alley!