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ERIC Number: EJ1082534
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2015
Pages: N/A
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-1559-5676
Opportunities in the Classroom or Cafeteria for a "Tasting Challenge" to Influence First Grade Students' Willingness to Try New Foods
Bellows, Laura L.; Conlon, Tara; Cunningham-Sabo, Leslie; Johnson, Susan L.
Journal of Child Nutrition & Management, v39 n2 Fall 2015
Purpose/Objective: To develop and implement a "Tasting Challenge" activity that is feasible for schools to influence and measure the willingness of elementary students to try new foods. Methods: The Tasting Challenge was as part of a classroom activity. Children were individually offered jicama and edamame to taste and rate (yummy, ok, yucky). The protocol was pilot tested with first graders at one school (n = 79) and, after modifications, implemented in four schools (n = 311). Children's tastes or refusals were recorded to determine willingness to try the foods offered, as were taste ratings. Descriptive statistics and chi square tests were performed. To provide a different school perspective, qualitative interviews were performed with foodservice personnel in-person with small groups of staff and by telephone individually with directors. Interviews ascertained their attitudes, knowledge and beliefs about introducing new foods onto the school lunch menu. Analyst triangulation was performed on written notes for themes. Results: Children were generally willing to try jicama and edamame (91.3% and 88.3%, respectively). Most liked both jicama (77.5%) and edamame (61.2%). No significant differences existed by school. Interviews (four group, two individual; n = 11) with foodservice personnel revealed that food waste is a prominent issue and concern when making decisions about introducing new foods and promotional materials are very seldom used to encourage children to try new foods. Respondents displayed interest in promotion techniques, believed that giving children the opportunity to taste test new foods would be very helpful, and favored strategies that would link the classroom and cafeteria. Applications to Child Nutrition Professionals: The Tasting Challenge is a practical activity aimed at influencing children's willingness to try new foods and assist school foodservice in successfully introducing new foods onto the school menu; thus providing a potential link between classroom nutrition education and foods served in the cafeteria.
School Nutrition Association. 120 Waterfront Street Suite 300, National Harbor, MD 20745. Tel: 301-686-3100; Fax: 301-686-3115; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Elementary Education; Grade 1; Primary Education; Early Childhood Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Institute of Food and Agriculture (USDA)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Colorado
Grant or Contract Numbers: 20108521520648