Grantee Blog

Learning About Flavor

The first few months of the school year are packed with holidays, often accompanied by sugary desserts, so it’s important to remind kids to also incorporate some healthy foods into their diet. That’s why this fall our lessons focused on ways to make healthy foods taste delicious. We began December with a lesson about creating different flavor profiles using apples. Students learned that there are four basic flavors that can be perceived on the tongue (salty, bitter, sour, and sweet) and that we can combine different flavors with one another to create a balanced recipe. To better understand how to combine flavors, students tasted apples with three different spice blends: rosemary and salt, cinnamon and nutmeg, and ginger. We discussed how sugar and fat are often added to food to enhance the flavor but how that can sometimes result in negative health outcomes. We learned that instead, we could use different herbs and spices to make food both taste good and be good for us.


The following week students got to put their new knowledge to the test. Working in groups, they received unseasoned popcorn (some of which they grew in their school garden) and a variety of herbs and spices to choose from. Their task was to create custom seasoning for their popcorn based on what they learned about flavors. Of course, they did an incredible job. Their popcorn creations included cinnamon and chili powder; garlic, oregano, and rosemary; and ginger with lime zest. They were all delicious and the display of creativity was inspiring. Hopefully a lot more kids will be choosing to create their own flavors instead of opting for less healthy processed foods.

About the Grantee

Isles Inc.

Founded in 1981, Isles, Inc. is a community development and environmental organization based in Trenton, New Jersey. With a mission to foster self-reliant families and healthy, sustainable communities, we design and develop effective services that support this mission and share what we learn with others who can make a difference.

Strategy: School Fruit & Vegetable Gardens

Cohort: Central 1

Funder: SNAP-Ed

Cities: Trenton