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6 Food Science Lesson Plan Ideas That Will Have Your Students Loving Class!

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What is Food Science?

Food science can sound intimidating if you are not a science teacher. When you break it down, it is a part of everything students do in the kitchen so teaching it should bring some great “aha moments”.

Technically speaking, food science is the study of the physical, biological, and chemical properties of food and how these properties affect the processing, preservation, and safety of food products.

Here are some food science teaching ideas!

1- The 5 Tastes of Food Taste Test- Students don’t always realize that there are 5 different food tastes- sweet, salty, sour, umami, and bitter. It is also interesting for them to learn that taste is not the only factor determining how you taste food. It also involves smell and sight!

Introduce the sense of taste and the food tastes with this slideshow, guided notes, and questions that can be assigned right in Google. It includes exciting videos about food tastes and how we, as humans, perceive taste.

A fun, hands-on activity is to hold a taste test. Break students into pairs or small groups and hand out the tasting worksheet with the lesson. They individually taste all of the foods while blind-folded and record their observations. They then write down what taste they believe the food to be.

2- Show a Video to Hook Students Attention. Here is a video that gives examples of cool scientific features of foods.

We have one if you are looking for a video sheet that goes with any video! This is great to have on hand on your desk for quick Youtube videos that relate to your content or for sub plans!

3- Food Science Bell Ringer Journal– Start each class with a bell ringer question that relates to food science. You will find that if you get into a routine of using these each class period, students will get into the habit of sitting down to work when they enter the room. Check out our blog post about how to use bell ringer journals!

Prompts in our food science bell ringer journal include questions about the sense of taste, baking ingredient functions, career exploration in the field, and more!

Grab a free sample of our Food Science Bell Ringer Journal here.

4- Food Label Analysis Activities – Students can analyze the nutrition labels of different foods to learn about the science of nutrition and the role of different nutrients in the body. Check out our Food Label Digital Escape Room for a fun introduction to food labels.

5- Make Ice Cream! Making ice cream is a fun and simple food science experiment that can teach students about the physical properties of ingredients like milk and cream. Here’s how to do it:

Gather Your Ingredients:

  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • Ice
  • Salt


  1. In a large bowl, mix together the heavy cream, milk, sugar, and vanilla extract.
  2. Pour the mixture into a small, resealable plastic bag, and seal it tightly.
  3. Fill a large, resealable plastic bag halfway with ice, and sprinkle a handful of salt over the ice.
  4. Place the small bag containing the ice cream mixture inside the large bag of ice and salt.
  5. Seal the large bag and shake it vigorously for about 10-15 minutes, until the mixture solidifies and becomes ice cream.
  6. Remove the small bag from the ice and salt, and scoop the ice cream into bowls, add toppings like sprinkles, cherries, or chocolate syrup, and serve!
cup of ice cream with sprinkles
Photo by Leah Kelley on

6- Explore the Maillard reaction: The Maillard reaction is a chemical reaction that occurs between amino acids and sugars at high temperatures and is responsible for the browning and flavor development in many foods, such as bread, coffee, etc.

This one is simple to set up and only involves bread and a toaster! Toast one slice of bread to a light golden color and another to a darker brown color. Compare the appearance and aroma of the two slices of bread, and notice the differences in flavor. You can also try toasting bread at different temperatures or for different lengths of time to observe the effects of the Maillard reaction.

7- Cooking Methods Effects on a Potato- As you know, different cooking methods can significantly impact the texture and flavor of foods. To examine the effects of different cooking methods on food texture, you can experiment using potatoes.

Cut several potatoes into pieces and cook them using different methods, such as boiling, baking, frying, or microwaving. Have your students record each cooked potato’s texture, color, and flavor, and compare the differences between the methods.

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