Taste Tests With a Twist - Action for Healthy Kids
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Taste Tests With a Twist

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Taste tests are a fun and engaging way to explore new foods and get a little creative in the kitchen. Using all five senses, children can learn more about the health benefits of their favorite foods or discover their taste for something new. Play with combinations of sweet and savory, and test out alternative ways to prepare foods.

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Consider some foods that are ripe (no pun intended) for creativity. For example, salsa is a quick and delicious snack, packed full of vitamins and minerals, that can easily be made with a twist.

What You Need:

  • 1/3 cup tomatoes, diced
  • 1/3 onion, diced
  • 1 cup bell peppers, chopped
  • 1/3 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and diced (optional)
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • Salt, pepper, red pepper flakes to taste

What You Do:

  • Wash and prepare ingredients then mix together in a large mixing bowl. Add salt, pepper and red pepper flakes to taste.

Now, let’s make it with a twist!

  • Pineapple – 3 cups, diced
    • Pineapples are a fruit that taste delicious both sweet and savory! An excellent source of Vitamin C, which helps to build a healthy immune system, they can be a sweet addition to a salsa or chicken stir-fry.
  • Mango – 1 fresh mango, diced
    • Another fruit packed with Vitamin C, mango also brings the organ-supporting benefits of Vitamin A! Like pineapple, mango goes great in salsa and with chicken, as well as on top of a warm bowl of oatmeal.

Hungry for another twist? Check out these recipes from Dole, or create one of your own.


This activity was created as part of the Healthy Eating Toolkit, sponsored by Dole.


Have children make a list of their favorite food items and foods they want to try (or try again). Make it an activity, and have them write down what comes to mind for each food. Is it sweet? What is it often used in?  Then ask them to think outside the box and think of different ways it could be prepared and enjoyed.

Create a fun, welcoming atmosphere that will enhance the experience for children. Play background music or make it a family cooking challenge.

Include children in the planning and preparing. Getting kids in the kitchen not only empowers them to challenge their thinking and creativity, it also helps grow nutrition knowledge and create healthy dietary habits.

Reflect on the activity afterwards. Ask questions related to why or why not they liked the final product. Discuss ways it could taste differently or explore alternative ingredients.