Taste testing is a great way to introduce new foods to kids who are otherwise apprehensive about trying them. Fruits and vegetables are the perfect food to use in taste tests because there is such a wide variety of them and so many that are unknown to most. It’s a great way to teach kids about the benefits of certain foods and why it is important to eat them. Taste tests can be done in a classroom setting, the cafeteria, or even at home.
Here are 5 tips for hosting a fun and successful taste test for kids:
- Food selection – Determine whether you are doing one food or if you are doing a variety of a specific type of food. For example, will you be sampling an avocado or will you be sampling a variety of berries? Ideally you will pick foods that are in season for maximum freshness and it will save on the wallet as well.
- Food preparation – Make sure all food is washed, cut and stored in containers ready to distribute. This will save on prep time onsite, and allow for more tasting time. If you can be creative in the presentation of a food, such as using a star or heart cookie cutter for melon, or putting berries on a skewer, this can be more fun and tempting for kids.
- Go beyond taste – Involve the other senses for increased food awareness. Have the kids observe what the food looks like, what it smells like and what it feels like. This will enhance the tasting experience, while also putting their senses to good use!
- Nutrition education – Use this time to teach kids about the nutritional value of the food and emphasize the healthy benefits it has on the body, including aiding in digestion and preventing sickness and disease.
- Track the tasting – Use fun worksheets to go along with the taste test for increased participation and discussion about the foods. If doing at school, this is a great way to get a conversation about healthy eating started at home. You can download worksheets that we have created for a berry taste test, a stone fruit taste test and a tropical fruit taste test.
If you host a taste test, take some pics and share on our Facebook page!