How do I Conduct Taste Tests in the Classroom?

before the taste tests

during the taste test

  • While preparing the produce taste test samples:
    • Show the produce video.
    • Teach proper use of supplies and equipment.
  • Wash hands, wash hands, wash hands. This is a great opportunity to talk with students about the importance of washing hands.
  • Instruct the students to wait to taste their sample until they are told to start tasting.
  • Create a positive and safe taste-testing environment.
    • “Today we are going to use our senses to learn about a new fruit/vegetable.”
      • “How many senses are there?” (5)
      • “What are the five senses?” (seeing/eyes, hearing/ears, touching/hands, smelling/nose, tasting/mouth)
    • Set clear guidelines.
      • “What do you say when you try a new food that you really like?”
      • “What do you say when you try a new food that you do not like?”
      • “Today, we are all going to try (select one or more of the following or create your own):”
        • “The Two-Bite Club.” (try at least 2 bites)
        • “Try it bite.”
        • “Adventure bite.”
        • “First bite.”
        • “Thank you bite.”
      • “If you do not like the taste of the fruit/vegetable.”
        • “Instead of using words like ‘yuck’ or ‘gross’, describe why you don’t like it. You can pick adjectives from that list.” (Display the Adjectives document below for students to view.)
        • “Say ‘No thank you.'”
        • “You will be able to vote if you do or do not like the fruit/vegetable.”
      • Teach students polite ways to discard remaining samples they don’t like after the encouraged tasting.
        • Place remaining samples in their napkin and dispose in the trash or composting.
        • Share untouched samples with other students.
  • Show the students the whole produce.
    • Lead a discussion describing the produce using the senses.
    • Share some fun facts from the Educator Newsletter.
  • Direct the students to taste the sample once they have all received their samples.
  • Conduct a discussion with the students encouraging them to use their senses by asking the following questions (Display the Adjectives document below for students to view.):
    • How would you describe the taste?
    • How would you describe how it looks?
    • What color is it? Does it have skin? Can you eat the skin?
    • How does it feel? Is it hard? Is it cold? Is it squishy?
    • How would you describe the smell?
    • Have you eaten this before? Have you seen it or eaten in in the cafeteria? Have you seen it in a garden? Have you eaten it at home?
  • Do not return produce to the cafeteria
    • Give students the remaining produce to eat.
    • Contribute the remains to composting, if available.

how do i conduct the ‘rate the taste?’

There are four different ‘Rate the Taste’ rating sheets specific to the following grade levels:
• Kindergarten
• 1st grade
• 2nd – 3rd grades
• 4th – 6th grades

  • Select the produce on the Calendar. Select the appropriate grade-level ‘Rate the Taste’ in the pop-up menu. Display for all students to view.
    • Fill in the name of the fruit or vegetable tasted.
    • Ask students to rate their preference for the fruit or vegetable by raising their hand when asked each ‘Rate the Taste’ question.
    o For example: “Raise your hand if you liked the (name of produce).”• Each ‘Rate the Taste’ sheet includes one or more additional questions. For example, the 1st grade ‘Rate the Taste’ asks how the produce helps the body and the 4th – 6th grade ‘Rate the Taste’ asks why the produce is good for the student.

tips for successful classroom taste tests

• Use a local map to explore where the produce comes from.
• Invite a farmer to bring his or her local produce to class and discuss how it was grown.
• Take the students to the school garden to see how the produce grows.
• Read stories about fruits and vegetables.
• Share the ‘Rate the Taste’ results with nutrition services, parents, or the school-site wellness committee.
• Use the Educator Newsletter for ideas on how to integrate other subjects with the taste test experience.

Leading a Harvest of the Month classroom lesson is fun and simple. The students will ask for more!


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