One of the best money-saving tips I have found is to buy herbs in bulk. A bottle of organic bay leaves costs pennies, versus $4-5 dollars from a bottle in the spice aisle. We have a mix of bottles, but had some without labels. I got my label maker out, and M had fun printing the names, and sticking the labels on. This is a great activity for early readers, and was fun and actually helped organize!
- this is a non-threatening way to work with food for children who are extremely picky or have sensory issues, or who have experienced trauma around food.
- open each bottle to smell, and “double-check” before you label. CAUTION! Do not have them inhale deeply. Once, when M was about three, she took a big sniff of a cinnamon bottle she had just shaken up and got it up her nose. It stings!! Take a small whiff, or even waft the air up to the nose.
This is a fun sensory task, makes kids feel grown up and helpful. I think of the mom I interviewed for my book, Love Me, Feed Me, who’s son had severe sensory issues, and how he helped in the kitchen getting familiar with spices and ingredients long before he would try them. Kids will be more open to explore if there is no pressure to “taste” or try food. If your child doesn’t want to smell the spices, don’t push that either. Just have a good time together, and it just happens to be in the kitchen, familiarizing them with smells, names, bottles etc!
For kids who are into it, test them, play a game and see if they can recognize which spice it is? Is it cumin or cinnamon?