How Do I Obtain and Prepare Produce for Taste Tests?

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.

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


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.
• Each ‘Educator Newsletter’ provides the recommended amount of produce for a small group.


What do I need to prepare for taste tests in the classroom?

• Cutting board
Place 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 wipes
Clean the surface and surrounding areas before and after taste testing.
• Latex gloves
Wear gloves when preparing and touching produce.
• Napkins
Place the sample on a napkin for each student so they can also clean their mouth and hands after the taste test.

Optional:
• Serving tray
Place samples on the tray to distribute to the students.
• Toothpicks
Place toothpicks in each sample so students can taste from a serving tray or a napkin without touching the sample.
• Small plates
Place samples on small plates instead of napkins if preferred.
• Fruit and vegetable peeler
Peel selected vegetables with the peeler instead of a knife.
• Colander
Wash 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.

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


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

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