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.



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