Take a Taste with Spoons is a three-session food and nutrition literacy program for third graders. Each lesson focuses upon a different theme—elements of taste, healthy beverages, and nutritious snacks—providing opportunities for students to taste, prepare, and share food with their classmates. At the end of each lesson, students are provided with a recipe and a set of “Conversation Starters” to encourage them to prepare and talk about food together with their families.

Lesson 1: Elements of Taste

Students identify elements of taste (sweet, sour, salty, and bitter) and use this vocabulary and other descriptive words to discuss and compare different varieties of local fruits or vegetables. The discussion also centers on the healthy aspects of fresh fruits and vegetables, and helps students understand how locally grown foods are healthy for people and beneficial for the environment.

Lesson 2: What’s in your Drink? Sugar Survey

Students participate in a hands-on activity using food labels to determine the amount of sugar in popular sodas and juices. Afterwards, they work together to create a healthier alternative beverage using fresh fruit and seltzer water.

Lesson 3: Snack Healthy

Students explore the ingredients in a recipe and work together to make a healthy and delicious snack. At the end of the lesson, children are given a list of snack ideas and recipes to share with their families, as well as “Conversation Starters” to encourage continued discussion at home.


How are the lessons in Take a Taste lessons implemented?

Spoons trained food educators and volunteers work with a designated classroom once a week for 3 weeks, providing a consistent presence for each of the lessons. Classroom teachers are invited to attend trainings, to support integration of lessons into their curriculum. They will also be provided with extension activities to extend the learning beyond the 3 lessons.

Who is eligible for Take a Taste with Spoons?

This is a program for 3rd graders in NYC public schools. We are not currently scheduling new schools for the 2015-2016 school year. We will have limited availability for new schools in 2016-2017. If your school is interested in participating, please contact Ali McDowell, Director of Programs and Partnerships.

I am not at a NYC public school, how do I bring Take a Taste with Spoons to my students?

Please Contact Us for more information.

Volunteer Information

This 3-session program is implemented in classrooms across NYC from October- June Students explore the elements of taste and create snacks to enjoy at school and at home. Volunteers are partnered with a SAA Food Educator, assisting in a one-hour class once a week for 3 weeks in each classroom to which you are assigned. Commitment to all 3 sessions in a particular classroom(s) is strongly preferred, but if you only able to volunteer once or twice, please sign up as well.

Volunteer Training Dates TBA

To volunteer, contact us for more information. Please specify the program of interest and neighborhood preference.

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Volunteers are an essential component of the work that we do with children, helping out in the classroom but also providing a mentoring role for children.

Spoons’ Recipe Days

Children are encouraged to taste and prepare fresh, local foods; share meals; expand one’s tastes; and promote the importance of eating healthy, tasty foods.

The Dinner Party Project®

Offering children an opportunity to experience the fun and excitement of planning, preparing, serving and enjoying a meal with their parents and friends.

Agriculture Literacy Week

Spoons Across America manages Cornell Cooperative Extension’s New York Agriculture Literacy Week for New York City classrooms.

Farm to Book

Spoons trained educators read a food-related storybook and lead a tasting and curriculum activity.

Our Programs

SAA develops and supports food and nutrition based educational programs which encourage children to become independent and inquisitive food explorers.