In School Taste Testing
10 times is how many times a new food must be tried before you really know whether you like it or not. Help children get past the "peas are yucky" stage by hosting a taste test of different recipes during lunch. Provide incentives for tasting to kids like one entry into a drawing for each food tasted. Provide recipe cards for kids to take home with coupons for some of the ingredients attached. Work with local growers to bring in seasonal vegetables.
That's right, at least 10 times before they know if they like it. Many parents don't know this fact and when presented with a refusal to eat vegetables, will stop trying and so stop serving them at dinner. Schools too will serve dishes that kids will eat to minimize waste and make their dollars stretch further.
In School Taste Testing
What I'm proposing is a weekly taste testing table, set up in much the same way they appear in grocery stores. A tasting will feature 4 or 5 dishes of a locally grown seasonal vegetable that is provided by a local farmer. The dishes should be simple and relatively easy to prepare.
For each dish tasted the child will receive a ticket that they put their name on (one ticket per dish max). The child then votes for their favorite(s) using their tickets. At the end of lunch, a drawing is held and a prize is awarded. Free dessert or free snacks are simple ideas of awards. A monthly drawing for a larger prize of an in home cooked meal would also be provided. this would allow for outreach to parents to teach them healthier cooking methods and choices.
Available at the tasting table will be recipe cards for each of the dishes served. Children will be encouraged to take the cards home so their parents can make the dish for dinner at some time. If allowed by the school system, coupons for ingredients in the recipe can be included with the cards to provide further incentive for the parent to try the dish.
Schools that have hot lunch programs can take the information of the favorite dish voted on to give them direction on possible new menu additions. If possible the favorite dish should be offered as a choice in the next week.so the kids can see the impact of their votes and also taste the dish again.
If possible, the farmer who has partnered with the school will also have a table that presents the farm to the children. Included in the presentation would be information on the farm, their growing practices, and information on the featured vegetable.
Age of kids. The solutions to changing kids’ eating behaviors will vary depending on their age. What works for a toddler won’t necessarily fly for a teenager, although we suspect some concepts might be appropriate for all ages—even adults! Which age bracket does your concept address (tick all relevant boxes)?
Elementary (Kids) 5-10
Middle school (Tweens) 11-13
Hurdles to success. Helping kids make smarter food choices comes with a variety of hurdles that have to be addressed in order for a design solution to be successful, which of these do you think that your Concept overcomes (tick all relevant boxes)?
Expense and Convenience
Lack of Knowledge