Taste ‘n’ Tell Books For Early Years & infants
The award-winning Taste ‘n’ Tell Discovering Food Series of books was developed for one-to-one use primarily in the home or supervised settings in nurseries, primary or special schools. The food sampling aspect can be practised in primary schools where permitted, although this is not essential to the learning experience if the pods are used to simply demonstrate the food on the page.
Academic research * shows that the application of 3 factors leads to an effective and sustainable way to get young children to eat healthy food such as fruit and vegetables:
- Taste exposure
- Role models
We created the unique Taste ‘n’ Tell REAL (Reading Eating and Learning) System to bring these three factors together. The scientifically proven system of food sampling, role model characters & rewards are combined to provide a fun, multi-sensorial experience.
The REAL system proves to be very useful for younger children with food aversions or fussiness.
* European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (2004) – Effects of a peer modelling and rewards -based intervention to increase fruit and vegetable consumption in children, by CF Lowe and others, School of Psychology, University of Wales.
The third element of the REAL System is to reward the children for their efforts. Many forms of reward can be used including complementary comments or physical rewards such as stickers. The Taste ‘n’ Tell “I tasted something new” Sticker table is very popular and comes with appropriate character stickers. The combination of all three elements is a progressive way to encourage children to sample healthy food, help communication, reading & learning the origins of food.
Role model characters
We created 5 fun characters to represent the five main healthy food groups. Holly honeybee loves fruit, Veggie vole loves vegetables, Beefy bear loves protein, Millar mouse loves grains (starchy carbohydrates) and Darcey dragon loves dairy. Evidence shows that by using the characters to ‘encourage’ children to sample or learn about food the information is better received and retained.
Children are encouraged in safe supervised locations to sample a variety of foods from an early age. The settings for this are primarily the home, classroom (where permitted), or other organised settings. Using the books for fruit and vegetables, parents and teachers can use the guidance instructions to encourage sampling of new foods at their own discretion and where appropriate.