“I’ve never had a carrot”

veggie plate
by Wendy Jeffries, Executive Director, TasteWise Kids

We are very excited to announce the successful completion of our first ever workshop pilot!

When TasteWise Kids was founded in late 2015, the immediate need was to maintain and grow the running of the very in demand Days of Taste program , launched in the Baltimore area by the American Institute of Wine and Food in 1998, and now in operation in over 40 schools a year under the guidance of TasteWise Kids, a reach we are very proud of.
Beyond this specific program, we have always wanted to bring Days of Taste type learning – learning about the elements of taste, how to balance flavors, and the journey of food from farm to table – to other ages, other communities, and into other environments, in a more bit sized (pun intended!) format. We want to give kids of all ages fun ways to learn about food and inspire healthy eating habits, wherever that may occur.
Last week we had a great time spending the afternoon with the students in the Hampden Family Center’s after-school program. Our new Taste workshop was a success as deemed by their K-5th graders who participated. As you can see in these pictures, everyone had fun!
Students learned about the different plant parts we eat. A favorite was eating the seeds of the sugar snap peas.
We did experiments to discover the four elements of taste. While lots of students knew salt, they were surprised by just “how salty” it really is when tasted alone. Another fun moment was when they discovered that combining the sour citric acid and sugar is like a sour patch candy!
Making a yogurt dip to their own individual taste was a hit . Students worked on their math skills as they measured out the ingredients and got to flavor their dips to their liking. We had a few students who really liked the “sour” element while others preferred it a bit more sweet.
Tasting the dip by using the “plant part dippers” was of course a highlight . Students got to use carrots, radishes, sugar snap peas, celery and cauliflower – there was a lot of discussion about which dipper was “best”. There was some disagreement about whether celery is really bitter but carrots were a favorite. For a few students, it was the first time they had tried a carrot stick!
We ended with students making another yummy snack that allowed for them to work on balancing flavors and textures – a yogurt parfait. Check out this edible beautiful work of art! Students also learned that a “base” ingredient can be taken in two very different directions, based on the other tastes you combine it with.

We are planning more workshops like this one in the future. If you are an organization that might be interested in providing this type of workshop to your students or families AND/OR are interested in health, wellness or nutrition and would like to give your time, please contact me at wjeffries@tastewisekids.org.
We can’t wait to work with these curious and clever students again soon.