Does food taste the same if you haven’t seen it yet? Before you have the preconception of what it might taste like. This blind taste testing activity for children is a sensory fun guessing game that explores this question. Without your sense of sight, can you identify foods based upon taste only? Do you think it makes them taste different. A taste testing activity is always lots of fun. Honestly, who doesn’t jump at an opportunity to nibble on different foods. Ok, there are kids who wont try new foods. This blindfolded experiment is a great way to get reluctant eaters trying new stuff. And because it is a fun sensory game, they might be more open minded.
How the Blind Taste Testing Activity started.
Dimples actually came up with this game. He heard his Aunty say “my kids eat with their eyes, if it looks odd they wont eat it”. He was a little curious and asked me what this meant, then we got on to the topic of taste. Why people have different taste buds. How people use their sight to gather information and form an idea of what something might taste like before they actually taste it. Have you noticed this? If you are trying something new and you expect it to taste sweet, you will get a rude shock when it tastes bitter. It is just like people who come to Australia with the preconception that Vegemite is like Nutella.
So Dimples concluded that it would be a cool idea if I made different secret foods, then blind folded him and got him to guess what they were. This guess the food taste testing activity was an awesome idea. Clever man. I got a plate together with varying foods, all different texture and tastes. Of course, I made sure I gave the kids a paper towels incase they had the urge to spit something out. I blind folded them and told them they had to try guessing the food, without using their eyes. This could be difficult.
The Taste Testing Plate.
- Jam, Frozen Blue Berries
- Watermelon, Pear
- Marshmallow, Nutri-Grain Cereal
- A Peanut, Chocolate
- An Anchovy Stuffed Olive
- A pistachio , A frozen Pea
- A piece of vintage Cheese
- A Baby Spinach leaf, Lettuce
- Mandarine, Banana Slice
- A slice of uncooked Crumpet (yuk!)
- A spoon with Whipped cream.
Tasting with your Sense of Taste only.
I started with something nice and easy, jam! Miss T knew instantly. Dimples was guessing almost everything until I put the marshmallow in his mouth and the soft texture threw him. He said mushroom and spat it out before he could taste it. I couldn’t help but laugh. Miss T got it right so Dimples put the Marshmallow back in and actually took a bite. Miss T is a top eater, she ate everything and was guessing well. Dimples was guessing good too but he spat the cheese out (because it was vintage).
I put the Anchovy stuffed Olive on there because Miss T loves them and Dimples hates them. Hey, I had to put something he didn’t like on there. Miss T guessed straight away and at the exact moment Dimples closed his mouth. So he heard her before he took a bite and spat it out “Mummy… I hate them”. Ha! The last taste testing sample was the untoasted crumpet. I asked them to feel this one with their fingers first. Just to add another sensory fun aspect in. Dimples wouldn’t eat this untoasted but Miss T did. Lastly, I gave them a spoon full of whipped cream. You have to end on a positive note.
What did we learn?
We learnt that Miss T is a fantastic little eater and will gobble down anything. We also learnt that sight plays an important part in the way you perceive food tastes. Without this preconception you taste food without any bias or prejudgments. Blindfolds off however, it is normal for the sight of food and what you already know or think of that food, to contribute to your sense of taste. Dimples spitting out the marshmallow based on its round soft body is a perfect example. A mushroom Geez he was way off! If he had of seen it, he would have automatically linked past experience and what he knows about marshmallows. The children learnt how to switch off their other senses and focus purely on taste. Overall, with the taste testing food sample, they really had to think about it. Plus, I encouraged this by getting them to explain the taste and texture to me.
What didn’t we learn? Whether Dimples would actually down an Anchovy stuffed Olive had he not known what is was. Maybe I will get him next time with Miss T’s help.