You know what your child is thinking during dinner by the look on his face. A smile means yum. A frown means blech. A sneaky sidelong glance says, “I’m hiding veggies in my lap.”
Spark more meaningful mealtime conversation with The Good Food Project. The nonprofit run by local food writer and mom Susan Taylor hosts in-school food tastings that help kids understand, talk about, and appreciate what they’re putting in their mouths.
Taylor and her team of educators visit classrooms (kindergarten and up) with several types of a seasonal ingredient in tow. After divvying up the goods, kids are encouraged to smell, touch, lick, bite, and savor — all to discover what a sensory experience eating can be.
Currently in rotation are apples, many sourced from local farms and orchards. Tasters learn Pink Ladies from Jonagolds and pick up food vocab along the way. (“Golly, this is tart and crisp, Mom.”) Later this year, citrus and avocados will be introduced.
It’s all incentive to step up to the plate.
The Good Food Project (773-648-0068 or thegoodfoodproject.org). Tastings cost $500-$750 per day (up to four classrooms). Select scholarships are available for in-need schools.
MCA Family Day
What: As a tie-in with exhibit Pandora’s Box: Joseph Cornell Unlocks the MCA Collection, families tinker with structures and play a game inspired by the collaging process.
Why: Walk into a huge cardboard box reflective of Cornell’s artworks and add on to it with the help of an artist.
When: Sat., 11 a.m.-3 p.m.
Where: 220 E. Chicago Ave., at Mies van der Rohe Way (312-280-2660). Admission is free for families with children 12 and under. General admission is $7-$12.
What: Kids climb a seven-foot-tall mountain of reused tires and do other physical feats at the adventure-filled exhibit.
Why: Motor development is a beautiful thing.
When: Thru Jan. 22.
Where: Chicago Children’s Museum, Navy Pier, 700 E. Grand Ave., at Lake Shore Dr. (312-527-1000). Admission is free on Thurs., 5-8 p.m. (reg. $12; under 1, free).
Kara Kesselring & Sugarcreek Road
What: The Chicago songbird and country/folk/American band play kid-friendly ditties.
Why: Perfect melodies for crisp fall mornings.
When: Sun., noon.
Where: Beat Kitchen, 2100 W. Belmont Ave., at Hoyne Ave. (773-281-4444). Tickets online at beatkitchen.com. Adults and children, $6.
Photo: Courtesy of The Good Food Project