Host virtual taste testing

What’s involved

Taste testing introduces children to a variety of vegetables and fruit. Taste testing is an easy and effective health promotion strategy to increase vegetable and fruit intake. Below is the information you need to know as a teacher to successfully implement taste testing in your classroom.

  • Make sure to teach proper tasting etiquette. All students should try the food. If they dislike the food, they should quietly either swallow what is in their mouth or spit the rest in a tissue and throw it away. Discourage rude sounds or gestures like EEEWWWs and YUCKs. This can ruin the experience for students who may like the food but are now scared to admit it.
  • Teach students about the food. Show them what it looks like in the whole form if they are tasting cut-up pieces. Tell them which part of the world the food came from. Give them nutritional information (e.g., carrots are good for your eyes because they have beta-carotene). Suggest ways that they can eat the food: cooked raw, sliced, in healthy desserts, etc. Invite them to guess which food group the item is from.
  • Invite students to use their senses. Let them touch and see the food before they eat it. Ask students to describe the physical properties of the food, including texture, colour and physical appearance. Have them smell it and ask them what they think about how it tastes once they try it.
  • Give each student an” I Tried It” card to take home to parents. Find a template on the taste testing resource page and add interesting information about the food, which you can find on each taste testing sheet. The most important thing about the cards is the portion where students fill in how much they liked it. If the kids tried broccoli at school and loved it, then the parents can provide it more often.
  • Have fun with it! There is no one set way to host taste tests. Some schools combine taste testing with their snack shack. Some have a facilitator go to each class and walk them through the process. Some go outside at recess and have the students try the food there.

When completing this in a virtual classroom, planning ahead is key:

  • Taste test familiar common household vegetables and fruits.
  • Work with families to give them a heads up of the vegetables and fruit that you will be virtually taste testing so that they will have them available. Make an addition to your classroom calendar so that parents have time to purchase.
  • If schools are providing meal services/ food hampers to families, work with them to match food items from those hampers to the ones being taste tested, to ensure all students have access.

Who can deliver it

  • Teachers
  • School staff
  • Principals
  • School districts
  • School leadership

Time commitment

  • 15 to 30 minutes

Resources required

  • Computer
  • Taste testing information
  • Taste testing etiquette reminder
  • Vegetable or fruit to taste test

Ideal learning environment

  • Long-term virtual learning
  • Short-term virtual learning
  • Summer break
  • Hybrid classroom
  • Traditional classroom

Pictures and/or videos of this health promotion practice being delivered​


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