#10 - Food Explorers Trivia: Quick Tips for the Table

Feb 09, 2023
#10 - Food Explorers Trivia: Quick Tips for the Table

Today is going to look a little different. I hosted a live Food Explorers Trivia game this week, and so may of you reached out to tell you me you were sad you missed it because the date didn’t work, or because something came up and you weren’t able to join.

So i thought it would actually be really fun to add it here.


So this is how it’s going to work: We have two rounds of 7 questions. I’m going to post the questions first, all in a row, and provide answers before going on to the second round. Give yourself 1 point for each question you get right. You will be completing against our top score from our live event which was 7 points.

You're going to need a pen and paper, so grab one now, if you don't have it already.

SO let's have some fun! 

***The fun food questions are from Dr. Google, so I cannot ensure accuracy of this information. The feeding tips are based on research and my personal experience, references at the bottom of this article! 

Today's focus is YOU.

My goal is to provide a space for parents to learn how to help their child explore new foods, while having fun, without judgement or shame.

And i hope that this trivia will be just that. My hope is that you leave today feeling confident and excited to try out some of these tips at the table. 

ALL RIGHT, let's get into round 1! 

Round 1

  1. How many steps are involved in the task of eating?
  2. Where were French Fries 1st invented?
  3. What is the only fruit with seeds on the outside?
  4. What percentage of children grow out of "picky eating?"
  5. How Many Different Shapes of Pasta Exist?
  6. True or False: Messy play is just bad manners.
  7. How many times do you need to try a food before your brain decides if you "like it"

Round 1 Answers

1. How many "steps" are involved in the task of eating?

According to the SOS Approach to Feeding there are 32-steps to eating. Ranging from being in the same room as a food, to biting and swallowing. Most of the time we think that eating is just 2 steps, picking up a food and eating it.

But according to the SOS Approach to feeding eating has 6 main steps - tolerating, interacting, smelling, touching, tasting, and chewing.

And each of those have even smaller substeps. Children progressively learn to eat new foods through these steps.

When we try to convince a child to "take a bite" of foods we're trying to jump over those steps when we haven't gotten them comfortable with the groundwork yet.

So your tip here: Instead of focusing on "taking a bite," focus on how can i help them to take one more step with a food. I know you don't know all these steps yet, but how can I help my child become just a bit more comfortable with a food?

For example, if they're ignoring the food totally on their plate - what can I do to help them acknowledge it? Maybe I can bounce it across the table? If they'll touch it, but not taste it - maybe I can show them how to do a big dinosaur lick vs a small snake lick.

In the Food Explorers Membership all the food exploration activities are designed FOR YOU with this in mind. That way you don't need to do all the planning and thinking about this, you can get right to implementing. Every single activity contains "levels" that help your child walks up these steps & progressively become more comfortable with a food.

2. Where were French Fries 1st invented?

Although the name makes us think France, they were actually invented in Belgium

French fries are a food that is actually pretty commonly accepted by children with feeding challenges. So I thought this would be a perfect time to show you how french fries can be a wonderful branch to new foods.

I'm talking about a food chain. This is when we make small changes to a preferred food, to eventually chain to a new food.

So how you can do this with french fries is.:

  • You start with your child's favorite fast foods fries - so say McDonalds.
  • Then you try a new fast food restaurant with fries - like Five Guys. Once they're eating that...
  • You can buy the fries from the freezer section and put them in the air-fryer.
  • After that you make homemade fries with potatoes.
  • And last, you make homemade fries with sweet potaotes (and maybe even butternut squash down the road).

Now each of these transitions may take time and practice, but kids are more likely to try a new food when it's similar to one they already know and love.

So your tip #2 is to try to offer foods that are similar to foods that your child already knows and loves, but are just a bit different. For example, if they like cheerios, try another type of "o" cereal. Then another type of cereal in a different shape. These small changes eventually lead to bigger ones.

In the Food Explorers Membership we have an entire core training on this topic that teaches you how to do this for your child and how to plan out your own food chain.

3. What is the only fruit with seeds on the outside?

Strawberries have about 200 seeds on the outside of the fruit.

Even just a fun fact like that can help your child learn about and become more comfortable with foods.

And that is your tip #3. Instead of focusing on taking a bite, focus on how can I help my child learn about this food as much as possible. Describe the colors, the shape, the feel, read books about it, check it out at the farmers market, etc.

In one of our recent coffee chats one of the members asked me about this, she was having a hard time finding more words to describe the foods and kind of felt lost with how to explain them. So we talked in depth about how we can do this in an objective way, and how we can do this using the senses to help her child's senses get more comfortable.

4. What percentage of children grow out of "picky eating?"

Only 1/3-1/2 of children will outgrow their eating challenges. So I think it's also important to note here that many people say that "all kids are picky." In fact only 20-30% of children will struggle with eating in their first 5-6 years of life. And out of those 1/3-1/2 "grow out" of them.

So I tend to be one of those people who recommend getting help or working on it sooner rather than later. That's just me, I do that in my personal life too. Because if they don't grow out of it, and you waited and waited that's a whole bunch of time you could have spent learning.

So my tip #4 is if you're just waiting to see, consider - is there things you can do while you're waiting that can still support them to continue learning and improving?

And I think this is one of the thing's that is wonderful about the Food Explorers Membership. It's kind of that middle area where you can start to learn and work on skills if you're not ready to fully dive into an evaluation.

5. How Many Different Shapes of Pasta Exist?

600! This one blew my mind. 

So this is a prime example of how you can create so much variety even just from one food. Even if your child is only eating pasta right now, you can start by offering them new shapes - 600 different ones of them. Variety is important to help prevent burnout and dropping of food. Even something as small as changing the shape is helpful.

If you leave here with anything today, please let it be this tip - that small changes matter, and no win or change is too small.

So even if you have no time, or no mental energy, even just changing the shape can help improve their mental flexibility with food. As a reminder - I would add this as an addition to their safe food at first, not as a replacement. That way, you don't lose that safe food.

6. True or False: Messy play is just bad manners.

FALSE! Sensory play is part of the "touch" (and more) step of eating. It can help kids become more comfortable with tasting new foods. 

Ok, so I mentioned I am an occupational therapist at heart, so you know that messy play is my jam (pun intended). It's an important part of the developmental process that helps them become more comfortable with food before putting it in their mouth. This is partly because we have the same touch receptors in our hands as we do in our mouth, so it helps them predict what it will feel like.

Now kids don't need to do this for all foods all the time - sometimes they'll feel more comfortable depending on the look of a food, but other times they need more of this to help them gain confidence.

Your tip #6 is that messy play doesn't need to be fancy. You can literally take any food put it in a bin and call it sensory or messy play.

For example - pumpkin puree can be used to practice measuring and scooping, pudding can be pretend mud, you can squash your blueberries to see how much juice they have, or you can put leftover spaghetti in a bin and hide toys inside.

It doesn't need to be fancy, just put something in a bin and add some toys or kitchen utensils.

All of our food exploration activities in the membership are sensory activities. They all encourage exploring foods through the senses, but I take care of the planning for you.

7. How many times do you need to try a food before your brain decides if you "like it?"

So the research on this varies. Anywhere from 8-30 times per the research. Overall, in the food field the accepted average is 20. So if you had any number from 8-30 give yourself a point.

Most parents only offer a food between 3-5 times before giving up, so that's pretty far below these numbers.

And sometimes I think that's where you need the support. When it's not working you need that cheer to keep going, and might you also need to adjust, or change it up a little bit. The way it's being presented might be too hard or too easy, so members can ask these questions in our app and receive that help from me!

So your tip here you can probably predict - don't give up. Keep trying, keep offering and keep exposing. Each kid is different and needs a different amount of time with each food.

And give yourself some grace. It's not your job to make them like it. It's your job to provide them with the opportunities to do so. Again, I am here to cheer you on through every step.

Round 2

  1. Who was the first kid to win the Food Network Kids Baking Championship?
  2. What food did Ninja Turtle MichaelAngelo love to eat?
  3. Which fast food restaurant has the largest number of retail locations in the world?
  4. What type of fruit is sometimes referred to as "pink lady?"
  5. What was the original color of carrots?
  6. What is the body's #1 priority before anything else?
  7. Which fast food chain was the first to introduce the drive through window?


Round 2 Answers

1. Who was the first kid to win the Food Network Kids Baking Championship?

Hollis Johnson - by 3 years old she was in kitchen, and doing advanced cooking skills. 

Now you guys probably already know my tip here, but tip #8 is encouraging your children in the kitchen to cook with you. You've probably heard this before, and I know this tip sometimes feels like a lot of work with very little improvement. But just because it's not obvious, doesn't mean that it's not helping.

In fact, I recently read a study that reviewed previous 120 studies and it found that even just going to cooking classes can change the preference and intake of vegetables. AND it also helps your child develop self-help and life skills from an early age.

It also doesn't need to be something that's really messy or time consuming. It can be simple as throwing the veggies in a bowl with water and having them help you wash them.

But again, this connects back to the steps to eating - it helps them get used to it at the tolerating, interacting, and touching step, so we can progress to the tasting and chewing steps.


2. What food did Ninja Turtle MichaelAngelo love to eat?

Pizza!!!! My 90s kids I'm guessing you are with me on this one, I was super excited for this fun fact.

So I don't know about you, but watching MichaelAngelo love pizza made me want to love pizza, and totally more excited about trying it. Research actually shows that televised mascots for foods can affect not only how much a child chooses to eat a food, but also how much a child likes a food. 

So, historically these characters tend to be on less nutrient dense foods, but there's no reason we can't use these to encourage fruits, veggies, and proteins.

So one way to do this is to look for TV episodes, or books that have positive food messaging about these foods. So for example this Cocomelon book. We all know the love for Cocomelon. And this book introduces a ton of veggies, and uses NO negative food messaging which I love. Side note, the YouTube video does have the words yuck in it - so personally not my favorite.

But introducing foods in this way along with their favorite character can make them more interested and excited to try these foods. They may not love it at first, that's ok, we don't expect them to, but it's how we start learning to like it.

Another example is that my sister has been reading the Pete the Cat pizza party book. And now her daughter is dying to try pickles. She's never seen them before, doesn't know anything about them, but she keeps pointing to it in the book and asking for it, because Pete the Cat eats it.

3. Which fast food restaurant has the largest number of retail locations in the world?


So I wanted to include a travel tip in here. Many families really struggle with travel. So something I love to do is practice foods that I know will be readily available most places you travel.

So if we know Subway is readily available in a lot of places, that might be a good food to practice. Some that I like to introduce with families is rice, pasta, and chicken nuggets because that's available in most places you travel.

Practicing these types of foods now, will help your child be more prepared for travel when the time comes.

I know travel is a really nerve racking one for parents, that's why one of the months of the Food Explorers Membership is dedicated entirely to travel and helping you figure out how to support your child during your fun trips.

4. What type of fruit is sometimes referred to as "pink lady?"


Since the next question is kind of similar to this one, i'm going to give you my tip after the next question!

5. What was the original color of carrots?


How cool is this?! Before the 17th century carrots were purple. And then dutch farmers started cultivating orange ones fo William of orange. And did you know purple carrots are still around? You'll find them as rainbow carrots in the grocery store.

My tip here: These are two foods that are WILDLY similar to other foods your child might already know...But are just a bit different.

So you CAN help you child learn to eat new produce, just by starting to add variety within a type of produce they already like. So for example - with apples. You can try the yellow apple, the green apple, the fuji apple, the pink lady apple. All of these are going to be a little bit different from each other. And they're going to help your child open up to different colors of produce.

The same with carrots. If your child eats orange carrots, you can try the white carrots, then the purple. Because they're eating a purple food, they might be more open to purple potatoes next.

This goes back to food chaining which we mentioned earlier - again, we have an entire amazing training on this in the membership. And the really cool thing is when you join the membership, you have access to ask me questions all the time so you can submit the foods your child eats and I can help you brain storm ideas that might be fun for them.


6. What is the body's #1 priority before anything else?

First is breathing, but after breathing is postural stability. Only after our body feels good breathing, and keeping our body upright, can it move on to eating.  And that's why it's important to make sure that your child is able to maintain their postural stability in their chair. Because only once is that stable can they focus on eating well.


7. Which fast food chain was the first to introduce the drive through window?

Wendys - Alright our very last tip. Many kids with feeding challenges love fast food.


Well, one reason is because it's very consistent. They know what they will get every single time. Companies thrive on this - you want to know you're getting the same amazing nuggets everytime you go to Chick-Fil-A. VS at home, it's usually a little different each time. So what can you do to help?

I like to start by not going to the same fast food restaurant every time. Instead, try Burger King, try Wendy's, etc. Change it up - add a new dip or add a piece of cheese. Or change what you order at that restaurant. Add a small amount of variety so they get used to variety. Then, when you work on it at home, they're a little more flexible to things being different.

And actually in March I believe it will be protein month in the Food Explorers Membership, and I'm going to walk the members step by step in how to explore ground meat with their kids in a fun way, because ground meat is actually one of the proteins that is easier to eat and chew from an oral motor and sensory standpoint. So we'll be exploring it together, to set the groundwork for eating things like burgers, meatballs, and meatloaf at home.

So how'd you do? Count up your points!

The Food Explorers Membership


The Food Explorers Membership is my membership-based community for parents.

Every single month we focus on a new topic, and each week I provide you with done-for-you resources that quickly teach you how to explore new foods with your child each month.

Every month you get - a quick tips guide, a grocery list, a recipe & a food exploration activity.

AND as a bonus we also have a month coffee chat as a get together, where we problem solve struggles that are happening at the table.

The coolest part is that all these parents are going through exactly the same thing you are. And are all here for the same reason - to explore foods with their kids, the fun way, so their child can become a more confident and more happy eater.

So how do you know if your in the right place, or if it's right for you?

  • If you consider yourself a foodie and you really want to help your child find that same love of food
  • If you live a fast paced, busy life with kids and you want that done-for-you planning, so you can focus on implementing it
  • If you're feeling alone or ashamed in this process and need to connect with other families going through the same exact thing
  • If you are FINALLY ready to learn and stay up to date on the best practices and food trends

...then say hello to the Food Explorers Membership


The Food Explorers Membership is Based on 3 Main Pillars

  • Community: because that connection with other people going through the same thing is essential
  • Education: because you want to make sure you learning techniques and strategies that work
  • Accountability: because as a parent life is SO busy and you often need those reminders and accountability to keep trying, and to keep the magic alive in mealtime


You might be feeling a little overwhelmed, hopefully in a good way...

I’ve created this space that really does help all of this make sense, and grabs you by the hand to help you get started. Once you decide you are committed to helping your child explore new foods - without the battles, the Food Explorers Membership is magical place you want to be. Surrounded by other parents that get it, diving into learning that help you finally take steps forward, instead of "waiting to see"

You can sit with us.


AND FINALLY that Amazing Bonus I Mentioned:

If you decide that today that this is the right fit for you, you're going to get two really special bonuses

  1. An invite to a private housewarming party, with only the members who are new this week. So you'll really have a chance to chat directly with me face to face and ask your burning questions.
  2. This is a HUGE one, because it's never been released to my community before. It's about a 25 page eBook with 101 ways to play with your food. So one of the most challenging things for parents when we talk about having fun at the table is how to play with food, they can't think of ideas, they feel silly. This eBook gives you 101 simple, easy, quick ways to help you child play at the table. And it offers options all the way from that interacting step, to smelling, touching, tasting, and chewing at the table.

Guys this eBook is really good, and it contains a lot of the ideas I personally use myself at the table. It's a $52 value and you get it absolutely for free as a bonus when you join today.


Chat soon! 

Sam (@DrSamGoldman)



***This post/podcast is not sponsored. The opinions and content of this blog are unique to the writer unless otherwise stated. No compensation is received for the links shared.

Disclaimers: The information provided by OT 4 ME (“we,” “us” or “our”) on theot4me.com (the “Site”) is for general informational purposes only. The Site cannot and does not contain medical advice. Any medical information is provided as my/our personal experiences is not a substitute for professional advice. Accordingly, before taking any actions based upon such information, we encourage you to consult with the appropriate professionals. We do not provide any kind of medical advice.


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