The aim of this session is for children to:
- to taste new foods, willingly;
- recognise that sometimes we need to try a new food a few times to find out if we like it.
You will need:
- Permission letter - send home for parent/carer consent before the session.
- Two or three different fruit and vegetables - a whole and chopped example of each. You could do this session with any food you would like the children to try, e.g. different cheese, bread.
- My food book PowerPoint - ‘I have tried these foods' page
-Super taster! certificates
- Colouring pencils
Listen and respond
Explain to the children that they will be tasting fruit and vegetables. Talk to them about the importance of trying different foods to find out if they like them. 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 tasting. Take a small sample yourself and 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 these foods' 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: there are two versions of the tasting page, one for trying one food per day, and one for trying three foods on one day. You can use the My food book in its entirety, or just copy the ‘I have tried these foods' 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 these foods', page in their My food book and explain they will be filling it in so the 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 take a piece and smell it. Ask them to explain its smell. Finally, let them taste it. Pull out positive responses as much as possible. Get the children to record what they think on the ‘I have tried these foods' 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 foods. Each time they try new foods, 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 foods sensibly. Reinforce the importance of re-tasting foods they think they do not like, perhaps 3-5 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 foods. Each children can choose the certificate they prefer.