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STEM Activities

STEM Activity: Tasty Fun With Flavor Layering

Combining different foods is a fun way to experiment with flavors in the kitchen. Many people enjoy mixing salty and sweet flavors, which can be tastier together because of science! Salt is a flavor enhancer, so when you add a food that is salty to something sweet like candy, you can create a delicious snack. This type of combination is called flavor layering.

June is National Candy Month, and you can celebrate by making a tasty flavor combination of your own to enjoy.


Materials Needed

  • Bowls (one for each flavor combination you want to try)
  • Paper
  • Pen or pencil
  • Salty snacks (e.g., chips, nuts, popcorn, pretzels)
  • Sweet snacks (e.g., chocolate candies, hard candies, ice cream, marshmallows, sprinkles, syrups)


Step-by-Step Instructions

  1. Choose a salty snack and place as much as you’d like into your bowl.
  2. Mix in a sweet snack with your salty snack.

    If you would like to have your sweet snack melted (like chocolate), ask an adult to help you.
  3. Taste the combination and rate the flavor from 1 to 10, with 1 being the lowest rating and 10 being the most delicious.
  4. Create a name for your new combination and write it down, along with your rating.
  5. Repeat the above steps as desired to create more flavor combinations, writing down the names of your new snacks and their tastiness ratings.
    • If you’d like to experiment by adding more than one salty or sweet snack at once, go for it!
    • Once you have your list, identify the snack with the lowest rating. Think of ways you can experiment with other flavors to make this snack more appealing.
  6. Share your favorite snack creations with family or friends!

    Encourage them to make their own tastiness ratings and compare their results.


What Are We Discovering?

Whether your family enjoys cooking, baking or just making creative snacks, experimenting with foods and flavors is an awesome way to make STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) connections with your child!

As you enjoy sweet snacks, you also might take some time to learn about National Inventors Hall of Fame® Inductee Norbert Rillieux, who changed the sugar industry by inventing an automated refining process.

Of course, while inventing a new flavor combination is super fun, it also can get messy! If your cleanup involves loading a dishwasher, you can thank Inductee Josephine Cochran, who invented the first practical dishwasher. There is no limit to the STEM inspiration your family can find in the kitchen!


Looking for More Ways to Explore STEM?

To find more inspiring at-home STEM ideas and activities like this one, visit our blog.

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