In order to qualify for the Olympics in beach volleyball you have to play in the international tour (FIVB). When I was trying to qualify for the 2000 & 2004 games I got to travel all over the world. I visited Portugal, Brazil, China, Japan, Norway, Dominican Republic, Russia, France, Switzerland, Australia and more. Growing up in an African American home with parents from the south we really didn’t venture out when it came to food. We ate southern and basic American foods. Traveling all over the world gave me an opportunity to broaden my horizons and explore with my taste buds.
My family loves to travel! One of the most exciting things for me to do (and now my kids) is to look through my old passport and to look at all of the stamps from all of the countries I’ve visited. My original passport is full! I had to get a new one recently and can’t wait to fill it up too.
I don’t know about you, but I get tired of seeing the same kids menu at every restaurant. Chicken nuggets, mac and cheese, corn dogs… Really??? Is that what they think kids should eat?? I’m really tired of my family going out to eat and my kids always ordering the same things! Sound familiar???
I’ve decided to make a food passport. What’s a food passport you ask? Well it looks like a passport that you’d use when you travel around the world, but you use it to record food you’ve tried instead. In our food passport our kids will get to record any new foods they try, and they will get a date stamp and a sticker put into their passport next to the item they ate. I’m hoping this will help them to venture out and try new things.
Ideas For Using A Food Passport
1. Every time you go out to eat try a NEW restaurant, one you haven’t been to before. For instance a local non chain restaurant. Maybe try Indian one week, and an African restaurant another week. Whenever you go to the restaurant write the name of it in your child’s passport. Also write the meal they tried. Give them a sticker or stamp next to the meal they tried. If you want let them put a date stamp on it. The next time you go to that restaurant tell them to pick a different meal. Record it, stamp it!
2. If you are on a budget like us go international or around the country in your own home. Once a week have your kids pick a city in your country or another country from around the world and you make a meal from that land. You can try new fruits like lychee or let them try new foods like sushi. Be creative and have fun! You can even read them a book or fairytale from the city you are eating from. I have a book called Eat Your Way Around The World to help me with ideas. There is also a book called Eat Your Way Around The USA. What a fun way to get your entire family (even picky Dad’s) trying new foods.
3. If you have a picky eater your passport can be as simple as just having them try different veggies, fruit, or meat. Every time they try a new food, put it in the book and give them a sticker or stamp. :)
Again, just like above you will write in your child’s passport the name of the state or country the food is from, and stamp it and give them a sticker so your child will remember the food adventures he/she has been on.
How To Make A Food Passport
1. You can make your own using a small passport sized notebook from a book store. Let your kids decorate the front any way they like. They can use stickers of food, a globe, utensils, whatever they wish. Your kids can draw their own pictures as well.
2. Another way you can do it is by making your own using card stock and white paper for the inside pages. Just cut the paper to size and staple down the middle, it’s that simple! Click here for a do it yourself template! This is a link for world flags for your pretend passport. I recommend laminating your cover if you do it yourself.
3. Make sure you place your child’s photo inside just like you would a real passport. The template above (#2) shows you how it should look if you don’t have a passport of your own to draw from. You can make it more fun by writing things like what their current favorite food is, their age, how tall they think they’ll be when they grow up and things like that on the info page, instead of the normal passport questions.
4. Make sure you buy stamps or stickers from craft stores or print flags from online so you can document when they’ve tried a new meal. I recommend buying a date stamp so they can stamp the date they ate the new foods.
HAVE FUN ON YOUR ADVENTURE AROUND THE WORLD!