The aim of this session is for children to:
- taste new food, willingly;
- recognise that sometimes we need to try a new food a few times to find out if we like it.
You will need
- Ingredient check letter – send home to parents/carers before the lesson
- Two or three different fruit and vegetables for tasting
- Tasting guide
- My food book – ‘I have tried this food’ page
- Equipment to prepare, present and serve the food to be tasted
- Paper towels/kitchen roll
- Colouring pencils
- Super taster! certificates
Before session preparation
Prepare the fruit and vegetables so you have a whole and chopped example of each. Before you prepare the samples, read the Tasting guide. Ensure the samples are prepared and stored hygienically so they are safe to eat.
(You could run a tasting session with any food you would like the children to try, e.g. different cheese, bread.)
Listen and respond
Explain to the children that they will be tasting fruit and vegetables. Talk to them about the importance of trying different food to find out what they enjoy and have new experiences. Explain that sometimes we might think we do not like a food, but we need to try it again, perhaps a few times, because what we think can change.
Show the children a whole fruit or vegetable. Ask them to say what they think it will look like inside. Show them how it looks halved and in sample sized pieces. Talk about how it might be eaten, e.g. as a snack, with a meal, in a sandwich.
Show the children how to do the tasting task.
- Use a spoon or fork to serve yourself a sample onto a paper towel or piece of kitchen paper. Explain to the children that you do this so you are not touching the samples that others will eat. You use the spoon/fork to take your piece and then only touch it when it is on your paper towel/piece kitchen paper.
- Talk about how its looks and smells. Try it and explain what you taste, e.g. it is quite soft, it is juicy, it is crunchy, it is sweet.
- Show the children the ‘I have tried this food’ tasting page from the My food book and demonstrate how you are going to fill it in, e.g. stick a picture of the food in the book, or draw it. Shade in the face to show what you thought of the food.
Note: You can use the My food book in its entirety, or just copy the ‘I have tried this food’ page.
Have a go
Make sure all the children have washed and dried their hands. Work with the children in groups of four. Show them the ‘I have tried this food’, page. Explain they will be filling it in so they can remember what they have tasted and if they like the food or if they need to taste it again another time. Let the children see a food sample and talk about what it looks like. Ask them what they think it might taste and feel like in their mouth. Let them serve themselves a sample and then smell the food. Ask them to explain its smell. Finally, let them taste it. Encourage positive responses. Task the children to record what they think on the ‘I have tried this food’ page. They may like to draw the food, or you could provide images for them to stick in their books. Let them colour in a face to show what they think. Smile = I like it. Straight mouth = I’m not sure if I like this. Sad face = I don’t think I like this now, but I’ll try it again another time.
Repeat this activity with the children on a number of occasions, with different food. Each time they try a new food, help them to fill in their My food book or a copy of the relevant page, so you can keep a record of what they have tried. There are two different Super taster! certificates that can be awarded. One featuring the character Alisha, and one featuring the character Ronnie. Each child can choose the one they prefer.
Talk with the children about what they have tried. Praise them for tasting the food sensibly. Reinforce the importance of re-tasting food that they think they do not like, perhaps three to five times to see if they change their mind. Present the children with a Super taster! certificate. Tell them to take them home and tell their parents/carers how well they have done to try different food.
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