Frequently Asked Questions

FAQs about getting TastEd into your school

There are a number of ways to bring TastEd into your school. First you need to sign up for your FREE access to over 100 TastEd resources:

This will give you access to our comprehensive, FREE 30 min Teacher Training Video which clearly explains how to deliver a TastEd lesson. Guided by an Educational Consultant with more than 20 years working as a teacher, you should get all the information you need to try a TastEd lesson. 

Have a browse through all the resources on the logged area. You should find lesson plans and PowerPoints for every year group from Nursery to Year 6, plus special topic lessons covering the Romans, refugees, Tudor history and more. There is also a range of supplementary materials including ideas for assemblies, worksheets and letter templates to send to parents. 

There are a number of ways you can approach starting TastEd in your school. You could:

  • Run a TastEd lesson for a small group outside of a lesson time to get a feel for the resources and structure of the lesson. 
  • Try a full lesson with your class – lesson plans are very comprehensive, and our PowerPoints guide you step by step through the lesson. 
  • Trial TastEd after school with a small group to build your experience. 
  • Collaborate with a passionate parent to try a TastEd lesson with a class or small group. Many parents have tried TastEd this way in schools as a way to get staff on board, before handing it over to be included in the curriculum.

We find parents to be a valuable group of advocates, who are often influential in bringing new initiatives to schools, and Parent Teacher Associations (PTAs) are good ways to raise awareness of a project you think your school should run. We have many parents who passionately run, and support TastEd in their school. You could do the same by: 

  • Share the TastEd website, or some of our YouTube videos with a like minded teacher or school staff member to see if it is something they think could be brought into your school.  
  • TastEd is FREE for schools to sign up to. Ask a teacher or school staff member you know to sign up to TastEd using their school email address. 
  • Find a teacher who also supports bringing TastEd into your school and work together to trial it with a small group or one class. 
  • Share your idea for bringing TastEd into your school with the PTA and see if they would sponsor funding for teacher training in your school. 
  • Consider running TastEd lessons for teachers as a way of showing them how easy lessons are, and how impactful it is. We have a number of parents who have taken this approach, running TastEd lessons on a regular basis, who then handed over the lessons to teachers to teach within the curriculum. Meet with a supportive teacher to see how you could bring TastEd to school, and ensure that you get the relevant safeguarding checks, and have the support you need. 
FAQs about teaching TastEd lessons

TastEd lessons are designed to be taught in a classroom, but they could also be run in a garden or school kitchen. 

We want to make it as easy as possible for teachers to enjoy teaching TastEd lessons in their class, and we are aware of equipment challenges in schools. Therefore, each lesson requires simple kitchen equipment such as a chopping board and sharp knife, colander or sieve for rinsing fruit and veg, some containers to keep chopped produce in and some reusable plates or napkins for the children. We recommend the use of ear defenders in the HEAR lesson, as they amplify the sounds of children eating so much, but the same effect can be achieved by a child covering their ears.

Some lessons include simple food preparation activities, such as grated carrot salad or beetroot hummus which do require more equipment. But if this is an issue, maybe speak with your school kitchen who might lend you some or ask the PTA for a donation for kitchen equipment. 

We are aware of the pressures on budgets in schools and want to make it as easy as possible for teachers to teach sensory food education. Each lesson has been designed to cost not more than £8/10 per lesson per class. But often the cost of ingredients is far less. For example, for the TOUCH lesson using cabbages, you can get 3 different cabbages for under £2 in the supermarket. However, some lessons which might use berries will cost a little more.

Lessons are also designed to give each child just a taste of each fruit or vegetable, so you need much less than you would for cooking lessons. You could do a session with a couple of bags of different apples and the children would still get a sensory food experience. Another option is to use the school snack scheme produce in TastEd lessons. 

Many TastEd lessons are also very flexible in the fruits and vegetables you can use. For example in the HEAR lesson, you need loud and quiet foods, so you could select whatever is good value in the shops. 

Food prices vary widely across the season, so one recommendation is to adapt TastEd lessons to the seasons. For example, strawberries in winter are expensive (and also less delicious) so maybe choose a cheaper, but also more seasonal fruit like apples and pears. 

TastEd lessons are designed to explore each of the 5 senses. We recommend teachers begin using sight as it’s the least invasive of the senses to use, and a gentle introduction to new foods. Running in the order for your year group means children get gradually closer to eating the fruits or vegetables and develop their confidence with the TastEd approach and golden rules. But, TastEd lessons can be used in any order, and every lesson always has an opportunity for the children to taste the foods at the end. 

TastEd requires no previous experience of food, sensory food education or cooking. We have a number of elements to ensure you feel confident teaching TastEd:

  1. Our Teacher Training Video which is FREE to schools, clearly guides you through the principles of TastEd, why it works, and how to run a lesson. 
  2. Our lesson plans are very detailed, including lists for equipment, ingredients, a lesson outline, word banks, curriculum links and background facts for the teacher. 
  3. Our PowerPoint slides are designed to take the class and teachers step by step through each TastEd lesson. They contain simple, clear instructions, questions to ask and samples of children’s responses just in case. 

One of the unique features of TastEd is you are not necessarily teaching knowledge or food education. Your role is to facilitate a child’s exploration of fruits and vegetables using the senses and capture their curiosity through modelling, enforcing the golden rules, asking open questions and encouraging them to share their own experiences.

The TastEd team has a range of experience of working in schools including headteachers, teachers and parents, and we are acutely aware of the pressures on teachers today. That’s why we have designed TastEd lessons to support the national curriculum. Specifically TastEd can be used to deliver the Cooking and Nutrition element of the primary Design and Technology curriculum and the healthy eating components of Relationships and Sex Education and Healthy Eating. However, it can also be used to teach literacy, history, art and more. For an overview of how TastEd supports the curriculum for your year group, have a look at our curriculum map.

Additionally, we have a growing range of topic specific lessons which have been created in collaboration with the University of Cambridge Primary School. Topics covered include Foods of Pompeii, the 1960s (and Ringo’s Broccoli) and Evolution (and The Don’t Eat Me Salad). These bring topics to life for example through the examination of tudor foods, and are a great way to kick off, or celebrate the end of a topic. 

TastEd lessons are adapted for each year group so that the language and content progressively develops their skills and knowledge that is appropriate for their age. However, many of the activities can be used across different year groups, or even for mixed age group settings.

Don’t worry. TastEd works with all types of fruit and vegetables and in many TastEd lessons there is flexibility around ingredients. Remember it can be fresh, frozen, tinned, dried fruits and vegetables. If you are struggling to get the right ingredients, try and find something similar.

TastEd lessons are designed to give children a small amount of each fruit or vegetable, so there isn’t often a lot of produce used in each lesson. It is also a good opportunity to explore the topic of food waste with children. You can use any leftover foods in snack time, or offer them to the school kitchen to use up. You can always add them to the compost (or build a wormery) and some teachers are really creative in using leftover fruit and vegetables, drying them for decoration, using them for artwork and feeding school pets. 

FAQ about children in TastEd lessons

TastEd lessons are designed to be taught in a classroom, but they could also be run in a garden or school kitchen. 

This is totally normal. It’s fine to give children an opportunity to say whether they dislike a certain fruit or veg. But remind them of the golden rules of TastEd – No one has to like! Accept that they don’t like something and embrace the diversity of tastes. But also remind them that their tastes will change throughout their lives (they don’t eat baby food today!) and through TastEd might find the learn to enjoy something they once weren’t so keen on.

Remember the golden rules of TastEd – No one has to try – which removes expectations and pressure from the child to eat the food. Research shows that children will be more receptive to trying new foods, when they can explore them at their own pace. 

If the child doesn’t want to put the food in your mouth, they can try it by smelling, licking it, nibbling it, looking, touching or listening to it. For many children, these are the necessary small steps towards tasting and ultimate liking.

This is totally normal. Remember the golden rules and remove any expectation from the child to do anything. You want to build up the child’s trust so they can gradually feel brave enough to touch or taste it. 

Practically in class, rather than offering a taste from a large bowl, you could give each child a plate with small tastes of fruit or vegetables to try. You could always just place the vegetable in front of them and simply ask them to use their eyes. Ask “what do you see?” “What does it look like?”. Take small steps each time, and you’ll be amazed how their curiosity takes over.

Remind the children of the golden rule – No one has to like it. You can say it is fine if they don’t like it. Give them a tissue to spit the food into and get them to pop it in the bin. But also, try to engage them about what it is they don’t like? Is it the way it feels in their mouth? Is it the flavour? Is it too strong? All this information can help them to understand their taste preferences and why they like or dislike certain foods.