Our sense of taste helps us to identify what we eat without having to see the item. Our tongue has different areas that detect different flavors, like sweet, salty, bitter and sour.
Explain to the children that they have little bumps on their tongues called papillae. Inside the papillae are the taste buds. You can't see them but they are working all the time.
Let the kids' use magnifying glasses to find the papillae on each others tongues.
Let them know that the nose also helps them to distinguish flavors. Try eating some foods while pinching their nose. Is the flavor different? That's why when they have a cold and a plugged nose, foods don't taste as good.
Try offering foods to the children to try without looking. Choose foods with distinct flavors. Suggestions: peanut butter and jelly, peaches, applesauce, tomato soup, chocolate pudding, egg salad, grilled cheese or banana.
*Make sure you are aware of food allergies prior to offering any foods.
In four separate cups place foods that are sweet (such as sugar), sour (lemon juice), bitter (grapefruit juice), and salty (table salt). Use individual testing spoons to let the children try each item, leaving it momentarily on their tongue before swallowing. Talk about the way the tongue can feel the difference. Ask the children what other foods have the same flavor.
For a snack activity, offer up small pieces of fruits and vegetables to each child. Cut up sample pieces making sure that each child has the exact same items on their plate. Have the children try each item at the same time. For example, when every child has tried the pear, ask them to describe what it is like (cold, smooth). Did anyone not like it? How many of them did? Continue on with each kind of food.
More Five Senses Fun
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