Childcare daycare Infant Preschool Toddler

How to Raise an Adventurous Eater

Do you want to raise an adventurous eater? Do you have any picky eaters in your family?

We are happy to share wisdom from Kelly Gumpel, RD, CDN, CDCES. Kelly is a Registered Dietitian and Certified Diabetes Care and Education Specialist. She’s also a mom of one of Discovery Village’s preschoolers and a lover of all things food!

Kelly generously volunteered her time, leading a conversation with Discovery Village families about how to raise an adventurous eater. We are happy to share some of what we learned.

On Meal and Snack Times:

  • When you can, eat together as a family.
  • Make meal times pleasant.
  • Avoid distractions while eating.
  • Schedule meal and snack times rather than eating at different times each day.

On Introducing New Foods:

  • Expose children to new foods patiently. It can take up to 20 tries for a child to eat a new food.
  • At meals provide at least one food your child likes. Your child may only eat that one food. In time your child will try other foods. 
  • Introduce new foods on the plate with a food your child already knows and likes. 
  • Get creative with various presentations of new foods. For example, on different days offer carrot sticks, baby carrots, cooked carrots, or carrots with cinnamon. 
  • Get playful with new foods. Arrange food on the plate with a smiley face or in other fun arrangements. Consider it a win if your child explores a new food the first time; sticking fingers into it or moving it around on the plate.

On Learning about Different Foods and About Eating:

  • Include your child in trips to the grocery store. Or, if because of COVID you prefer not to take your child to the grocery store, have your child help you unpack the food.
  • Model using utensils and chewing with your mouth closed. 
  • Help your child learn to talk about food.  Teach not to say “that’s yucky” or “that’s disgusting”. Instead, let you child know it’s ok to say that you don’t want that now. Tastes change over time.

On Helping Children Understand and Respect Their Own Bodies:

  • Children have a natural ability to eat. They can assess for themselves how hungry and how full they are. Your responsibility as a parent is to offer balanced, healthy meals. It is your child’s responsibility to decide how much to eat and whether to eat. 
Take a look at the links below for some valuable information on ways to raise an adventurous eater.
Have fun with adventurous eating!
How to Raise an Adventurous Eater: Parent Education Session
Blogs Infant Preschool

Creating Hopeful Rainbows

In these uncertain times, as we all try the best we can to settle into a new, uncharted normal, what I’ve been searching for most is hope. Although moments of despair and fear hit hard, hope is also ever present. Rainbow art ideas for all ages have helped.

While physically distanced from the families of Discovery Village, the childcare and preschool I run in Tarrytown, NY, I’ve begun sending home activity ideas for infants, toddlers, preschoolers (some of which even their older siblings and their grownups can enjoy). Rainbow art ideas have been among our favorites. While as of now our commitment is to reopen next Monday, March 30th, with the blessing of New York State, to do what we are able to care for the children of essential workers, the majority of us will be physically distant for an as of yet undetermined amount of time.

To connect to others with hope, I now plan to share these activity ideas more broadly, on this blog, as many families seek ways to keep their youngest children safe and healthy, while also joyous, active, engaged, and hopeful.

As a first post, I offer five ways to be creative and hopeful with rainbows. These are merely possibilities to prompt your thinking and imagination! You can come up with many more!

I invite you to share your hopeful rainbows on your property for neighbors taking solitary walks, and on social media for friends who are physically apart, yet seeking connection.

1. Chalk Rainbows

This is the activity that inspires my hope, and so it is the place I begin. Make rainbow chalk art with inspiring messages for your neighbors locally (and globally posting on social media.)

Rainbow Art Ideas, White Plains Chalk Art Courtesy of Leah Evan - Posted on White Plains Moms & Dads Facebook Page
We Love You & Hope You Have a Great Day Chalk Art. Courtesy of Leah Evan, White Plains Moms & Dads Facebook Group

2. Eat the Rainbow

Have your children been looking for snacks? You can create healthy, colorful snacks. Talk to children about each of the colors.

Red: Keeps your heart and blood healthy

Orange: Protects your eyes and reduces sickness

Yellow: Good for skin health, digestion, and immunity

Green: Keeps bones strong and strengthens immunity

Blue and Purple: Improve memory and brain function.

Rainbow Art Ideas - Eat The Rainbow

Photo: courtesy of

3. Dot Rainbows

Use dot paint or even make circle marks with crayons or markers. For those of you not opposed to using food for art, or not opposed to some sweets, you can also use marshmallows. Attach marshmallows to toothpicks, dip into paint, and dot away. You can even glue the marshmallow down at the end as clouds.

Rainbow Art Ideas, Marshmallow Rainbow Prints

Photo: Courtesy of

4. Rainbow Suncatcher Collage

This one takes some materials you may need to order. It might be worth it to bring some hope to your home and your neighbors, as well as some meaningful fun for kids!

Materials Needed:

Tissue Paper, Contact Paper, Construction paper, Scissors

Cut the middle out of a piece of construction paper and stick onto a large piece of contact paper. Place squares of tissue paper onto the contact paper in a rainbow pattern, or any pattern children like. Hang up on the window and see the light shine through!

Rainbow Art Ideas - Tissue Paper Rainbows

Photo: Courtesy of

5. Rainbow Circles in the Style of Wassily Kandinsky

Children can create circle rainbow art in the style of Wassily Kandinsky.

Note: If you do not know the work of Wassily Kandinsky, look him up. He is considered to be a pioneer of abstract art.

I share three examples:

Kandinsky, Squares with Concentric Circles

Squares with Concentric Circles

Kandinsky, 1913

Photo Courtesy of: Wikipedia. Org

Kandinsky, Circles in a Circle

Circles in a Circle

Kandinsky, 1923

Photo Courtesy of: Wikipedia. Org

Several Circles

Kandinsky, 1926

Photo: Courtesy of: Wikipedia.Org


Stay healthy and hopeful!