We tried new fruits taste test style! Since we are family, it was a pretty casual experience but fascinating introduction to new fresh fruits for kids and adults alike! Since ours was a casual affair, I have supplied links to several different resources regarding taste testing tips, what they are useful for and even ways to help the kids take their learning experience home with them.
We purchased tropical fruits our family had never tried before. Dragon fruit, Pepino Melon, Passion Fruit, Prickly Pear Cactus and a Thorny Melon (which I do believe we cut the wrong way).
We engaged all of our senses as we looked at, smelled, touched and tasted the different fruits. It was interesting to watch the children fascinated by how all of the fruits looked and many had opinions about what they looked like or might taste like, only 1 eight year old chose to try every single thing. Well, the 10 month old did too but he will try anything. The three year olds were much more cautious to actually put the fruits in their mouths but still had a lot of fun engaging in the experience.
Why Taste Test?
- Encourages adventurous eaters
- Enables children to try something without committing to a whole meal of something new
- A fun way to experiment with something new
- Could encourage healthy eating in the future
- A way to have some conversation and community around food
Did You Know ... You can order stickers and a poster from Team Nutrition for free that will help you encourage taste testing?! Make Today a Try Day Stickers. Along with those stickers you can also print out a ballot form that shows different faces the children can choose from to express what they thought.
Give It a Try!
There are many resources out there for suggestions on taste testing with children, usually geared toward school aged children. Grow It, Try It, Like It Basics Book, page 17, as this resource is geared toward preschoolers.
- Encourage exploration of the food first.
- Show children how to politely decline a food they don't like after they have put it in their mouth
- Plan to try the same foods several times before the child will eat it.
- Let their peers lead the way
- Be sure they are seated
- Offer small bites
- Choose fresh fruits and vegetables that are in season
- Encourage parents to extend the learning opportunities at home
The Grow It, Try It, Like It fruit and vegetable books have additional taste testing ideas, guides and recipes for you.
- Colorful Snack Taste Test
- Ohio Action for Healthy Kids - Taste Testing In School
- Action for Healthy Kids Taste Testing Tips
- Fuel Up to Play 60 Taste Testing Resources
- Recipe and Taste Test Packet from Harvard University's Afterschool Food and Fun
- Vegetable Tasting for Preschooler