How Do I Obtain and Prepare Produce for the Taste Tests?

It is best to obtain WHOLE produce so that students can see, touch, and smell the produce before the taste test preparation.

where can i get the produce for the taste tests?

  • Consult with the district or school nutrition services to see if there are opportunities to obtain seasonal fruit or vegetables.
  • Plan the school garden harvests according to the seasonal calendar.
  • Explore community garden opportunities.
  • Talk to farmers at local farmer’s markets to arrange monthly purchases of produce. The farmer may be willing to donate some remaining produce at the close of the market.
  • Ask a local grocery store to donate produce monthly. Showcase the donation on the school website and parent newsletter.
  • Solicit a local business to fund the purchases of seasonal produce.

How much produce do i need for the taste tests?

  • Consult with the district or school nutrition services to estimate the recommended amount of each fruit and vegetable needed per class based on the number of students.
  • Refer to the ‘Taste Test Sample Prep Instructions’ for each product to estimate the amount needed for a class.


Cutting Board or Paper PlatesPlace the produce on a clean cutting board to prepare the samples.
Knife Use a clean knife to cut the produce for the samples.
Demonstrate safe knife handling and storing when preparing samples with students.
Sanitizing WipesClean the surface and surrounding areas before and after taste tests.
Disposable GlovesWear gloves when preparing and touching produce.
NapkinsPlace the sample on a napkin for each student. They can also use the napkin to clean their mouth and hands after the taste test.
Serving TrayPlace samples on the tray to distribute to the students.
ToothpicksPlace toothpicks in each sample so students can taste from a serving tray or a napkin without touching the sample.
Small PlatesPlace samples on small plates instead of napkins if preferred.
Fruit and Vegetable PeelerPeel select vegetables with the peeler instead of a knife.
ColanderWash the vegetables in a clean colander.

Always remember to wash your hands with soap and water before touching food and/or use gloves when preparing and touching produce.

Provide time for children to wash their hands before touching the food.

‘Best Practices for Handling Produce in Schools’ provides more information on how to handle produce in the classroom.

Now you are ready to conduct the taste tests in the classroom!


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