Taste Testing Tips
Taste Testing Tips
Taste tests are most effective when it is a part of a multi-component intervention. The CDC recommends taste testing foods to increase preference and consumption. The act of repeated exposure to a variety of foods is critical. Children learn about what they like by tasting, feeling, seeing, and smelling the foods. 

  • Allow kids an opportunity to interact with new foods. Avoid forcing kids to taste it. They can touch and smell it and stop there. Be sure to praise them for taking those first steps.
  • Keep it simple! Hype up the food being tested and remember to keep a neutral face as kids are taking a cue from you.
  • Collect and analyze data  on how the food item made the children feel, how it looked, smelled, and tasted. Use this opportunity to expand children’s vocabulary by introducing new adjectives to describe food. Below are sample taste test forms:
    1. I Tried Local: Taste Testing Kits
    2. Taste Test Questionnaire
    3. Try-Day Taste Testing Ballot
  • Give children a nonfood reward for trying the new food item.
  • Complement nutrition education lessons with a taste test or use taste-testing to celebrate. Ask students to describe the size, shape, color, smell, and texture of the food.
  • Schedule a taste testing party for a particular food group. Some ideas are listed in the Resources section.
  • Do not yuck someone’s yum. Teach children phrases such as “maybe next time”, “I may like it prepared another way” “Wow! That’s interesting.” “I love it.”
  • Create experiences beyond the food. Can you have a farmer come visit the school to talk about how the food item is grown? Here is a fact sheet on Farm to Preschool.
  • Is there a book the children can read and then plan the taste testing around? Can the children create a brochure to advertise the food?
  • Get parents engaged, either taste test the food during workshops, meetings or share the recipe with families after the food item has been tested at school.

Assistance available in English and Spanish. Please call 877-TEX-MEAL (877-839-6325) for help.

In accordance with Federal civil rights law and U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) civil rights regulations and policies, the USDA, its Agencies, offices, and employees, and institutions participating in or administering USDA programs are prohibited from discriminating based on race, color, national origin, sex, disability, age, or reprisal or retaliation for prior civil rights activity in any program or activity conducted or funded by USDA.

Persons with disabilities who require alternative means of communication for program information (e.g. Braille, large print, audiotape, American Sign Language, etc.), should contact the Agency (State or local) where they applied for benefits. Individuals who are deaf, hard of hearing or have speech disabilities may contact USDA through the Federal Relay Service at (800) 877-8339. Additionally, program information may be made available in languages other than English.

To file a program complaint of discrimination, complete the USDA Program Discrimination Complaint Form, (AD-3027) found online at: How to File a Complaint, and at any USDA office, or write a letter addressed to USDA and provide in the letter all of the information requested in the form. To request a copy of the complaint form, call (866) 632-9992. Submit your completed form or letter to USDA by:

U.S. Department of Agriculture
Office of the Assistant Secretary for Civil Rights
1400 Independence Avenue, SW
Washington, D.C. 20250-9410
Fax: (202) 690-7442; or
This institution is an equal opportunity provider.

SquareMeals.org Logo

Texas Department of Agriculture Logo

Texas Department of Agriculture

Commissioner Sid Miller

Facebook Icon Instagram Icon
Twitter Icon YouTube Icon