Tomatoes: Helping Kids Explore New Tastes + A Recipe for Roasted Garlic Tomatoes

Nice To Meet You New Food

Studies have shown that it may take at least 15 exposures before a child takes a bite of a new food. Even more for them to like the new food. I like to think of these exposures as connections. This can be over a day, week, month, or even year(s).

Kid To New Food:
I see it in the grocery store.
I see mama eating it.
I see my big brother eating it.
I see a picture of it in a book.
I see it in the fruit bowl.
I touch it to see if it’s smooth or rough.
I smell it while it’s cooking.
I touch it to my cheek.
I touch it to my tongue.
I licked it!
I took a tiny bite!
I didn’t like it this time, but it’s not as scary as I thought.
Mama is not frustrated at me for not liking it, she is smiling.
Oh, let’s try this again. Oooh, I like it. May I have more?

Encouraging Kids To Try Tomatoes:

Tomato Tasting: Challenge kids to see if they can tell the difference between red tomatoes, yellow tomatoes, and green tomatoes. Cut them open and ask: which has bigger seeds, which has smaller seeds, which has the most seeds? When/If they take a bite ask them which color is sweeter, which color is more bitter? Does it taste crunchy or soft?

Use salts: I love using salts to encourage kids to try new foods. Let them sprinkle it on the tomatoes themselves. Start with whatever salt you have in the house.  Purchase some different salts like a crunchier Maldon or a finer Pink Himalayan. Smoked Salts, Truffle Salts, and even Black Lava Salts are fun too! 

Dip Them: Pair tomatoes with dips like yogurt or hummus….or have kids build cherry tomatoes stacks on a stick with mozzarella then drizzle on olive oil and balsamic vinegar. 

Recipe + Easy Ways To Involve Kids

Oven Roasted Cherry Tomatoes
Serve over grilled salmon or chicken, or as a side dish.
  • Set oven to 400 degrees.
  • Line baking sheet with parchment paper.
  • Spread 2-3 cups of cherry tomatoes out on the parchment paper. If you see any extra large tomatoes cut them in half. 
  • Drizzle tomatoes with 2 TBSP olive oil, a pinch of kosher salt, and 3 cloves of garlic that have been peeled and coarsely chopped. Toss everything together.
  • Roast tomatoes in preheated oven for 15-20 minutes or until the tomatoes are soft and slightly caramelized. Stir tomatoes every 10 minutes to check to make sure they are not burning.
  • Remove baking sheet from the oven, allow tomatoes to cool about 10 minutes before serving.

Kids Can Help:
Wash and dry tomatoes.
Dump tomatoes on the parchment-lined baking sheet.
Measure the olive oil.
Add the pinch of salt.
Drizzle tomatoes with olive oil.
Toss tomatoes, olive oil and salt all together with a wooden spoon. 

Happy Cooking!

Love, Michelle

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