Around five different food options (based on your knowledge of the children’s usual routine and tastes, these should be different enough in flavour, texture or appearance to be unusual, but not too alien). Take care when planning, as there could be negative outcomes from trying food too unpleasant/spicy, such as making the children wary of eating/trying new things.
Some options are:
Set out the different foods on a table and make sure all children are wearing aprons to allow for any spillages.
Depending on the layout of your setting, it may be helpful to take steps to avoid other children freely joining in with this activity.
Ideally this should be a child-led activity, so have the food laid out on the table and allow them to try things on their own initiative. However, depending on your assessment of the children involved, alternative methods could include arranging plates for every child with each of the food options on, or having the food ready for you to serve to each child in turn.
If you’re doing this activity with a mix of ages, consider asking the older children to serve the younger ones.
Encourage the children to try the foods and, in the case of older children, acknowledge the food’s unusual qualities (‘mashed potato isn’t supposed to be blue!’).
Allow the children to eat and explore the different textures/flavours at their own pace and show or discuss if they enjoy the food (for younger children this could be simply showing they want more, or don’t!).
Physical Development: Moving and Handling: "•Picks up small objects, e.g the spoon, between thumb and fingers."
Physical Development: Health and Self-Care: “Develops own likes and dislikes in food and drink.; Willing to try new food textures and tastes.”
Personal, Social and Emotional Development: Managing Feelings and Behaviour: "Begins to accept the needs of others and can take turns and
share resources, sometimes with support from others."
Physical Development: Health and Self-Care: “Eats a healthy range of foodstuffs and understands need for variety in food.”