Fun Food Experiments You Can Do in Your Homeschool Kitchen
By: Mindy Scirri
What is more fun than science experiments? Edible science experiments for kids that they can eat later! We know you want to make science fun and don’t want to break the bank buying materials for experiments. Why not use what may already be in the house (with maybe a few “science” supplies)? This collection of simple food science experiments should help. Start by learning about the scientific method with a Baked Potato Science Fair Project, and then get your baking soda, cabbage, and vinegar ready! See what you can do with food experiments and science to learn about biology, chemistry, earth science, and even physics!
Biology Food Experiments for Kids
Some things you can learn about biology through easy food science experiments. Here are a few:
Blow Up a Balloon with Yeast
What happens when yeast eats sugar? Watch and learn as you use yeast to blow up a balloon.
The Biology of Bread
Did you ever wonder why bread dough rises? It’s biology! Bake some bread and learn some science while you do.
Edible Heart Model Activity
Use the colors of fruit and food coloring to understand the flow of blood in the heart. Check out this scrumptious experiment!
Edible Petri Dish Bacteria: Bacteria You Won’t Regret Eating!
Look at bacteria under a microscope or find some pictures of different bacteria. Then make models of the bacteria using food.
How to Make an Animal Cell for a Science Project
Learn the parts of an animal cell by building it out of gelatin or cake and some candies, fruits, nuts, etc.
How to Make an Edible DNA Model
Recreate the structure of DNA using color-coded candy or fruit and then have a yummy snack!
Human Spine Project
Create a model of a human spine using only a pipe cleaner, gummy lifesavers, and rigatoni.
Photosynthesis: Testing for Starch
Any extra food a plant makes through photosynthesis is stored in its tissue as starch. Testing a leaf for starch is one way to test whether it has been performing photosynthesis. Try it yourself! (Adult supervision required.)
Testing for Glucose and Starch
Did you know that all foods contain chemicals? In this activity, you can use simple tests to determine the presence of sugars and starches in everyday foods.
Chemistry Food Experiments for Kids
How about some fun food science experiments to help you learn about chemistry? Here are some you can try at home:
Apple Science: What Keeps It from Browning?
Aren’t brown apples yucky? Why do they get that way? Experiment with some substances from your kitchen to see which one slows down the browning of apples the most. Then learn why!
Build a Fizz Inflator
Form an acid-base reaction to create carbon dioxide gas and inflate a balloon. See if you can pop it!
Chemistry 101 for Pound Cakes
Like to cook? Learn the science behind cake rising by finding a good pound cake recipe and following the directions. Don’t forget to eat the pound cake afterward!
Chemistry for Kids: Edible Atom Models
Get the free printable and then make a model of an atom. Celebrate your new chemistry knowledge afterwards by changing your results into a delicious snack!
Cabbage Juice – pH Indicator
>How can cabbage help you with science? Make your own acid/base indicator by boiling red cabbage. Use the juice to pH-test different fluids.
Color Changing Milk
Wow your friends by mixing some milk, food coloring, and a drop of liquid soap. Watch for an explosion of color!
A Density Experiment You Can Drink!
Learn about the density of liquids and then safely drink the results.
Edible Periodic Table
Bake rectangular cookies, frost, and label. Put them all together for a tasty periodic table!
The Extreme Diet Coke & Mentos Experiments
What happens when you combine 200 liters of Diet Coke and over 500 Mentos mints? Make your own Coke and Mentos Geysers! Don’t forget to read the scientific explanation, so the experience adds learning to the fun. Amazing!
Four Easy Science Experiments with Vinegar
How else can you use vinegar besides on french fries? These science experiments rely on the power of vinegar to cause chemical reactions. Create a vinegar and baking soda volcano, blow up a balloon with vinegar power, oxidize steel wool with vinegar, and remove calcium from a bone or eggshell. And then grab some french fries!
Lemon Chemistry: An Acid-Base Experiment
How about a dramatic acid-base reaction that’s safe for preschoolers and a good demo for older kids who are studying acids and bases? Just find some lemons, baking soda, and a little dish soap.
Make Homemade Glue!
With this experiment, you can make surprisingly good glue from common kitchen items. Just provide an email address to access this activity.
Make Ice Cream in a Plastic Bag!
If only you could make your own ice cream! Well, you can by using the chemistry between salt and ice and a plastic bag.
Making Invisible Ink Appear
What is more mysterious than invisible ink? Use milk, baking soda, lemon juice or other food sources to make invisible ink and find out which works best.
Make Plastic Milk
Plastic milk? Well, sort of… It’s what happens when the protein in milk mixes with the acid in vinegar.
Make Your Own Rock Candy
Yummy! Learn about supersaturated solutions when you make your own rock candy. (Adult supervision required.)
Quick and Easy Kitchen Chemistry Experiments You Can Share with Your Kids
Discover the difference between physical and chemical changes and then “mix up chemicals that bubble, ooze, freeze, and change colors.” All with supplies from the grocery store!
The Science Behind Edible Glass
Learn how glass is formed from sand (silicon dioxide). But unlike regular glass, this glass is edible
Smell the Difference
The science here might be for high schoolers, but everyone can enjoy the scents! With a few items from around your house (and your parent’s permission), you will be able to smell the difference between stereoisomers.
Water to Wine
The magician taps the edge of a glass of water with a wand and quickly pours it into an empty wine glass, and voila! The water is instantly changed into red wine. What does that trick have to do with acid-base titration? Find out here!
Earth Science Food Experiments for Kids
Food can represent what happens in the natural world. Check out these links:
DIY Solar Oven S’mores
Harness the power of the sun by creating your own solar oven using a pizza box, some aluminum foil, and a few other items. Then cook your own s’mores without a bonfire!
Edible Soil Layers
Want a snack that is delicious and shows the layers of soil? You can use candy or healthy options, but either way you get to eat what you learn.
Eggshell Geode Crystals
Use eggshells to discover how geodes are formed in igneous and sedimentary rock. Watch for different crystal shapes and formations.
Make Your Own Volcano
Create a volcano that actually erupts using the supplies in your kitchen!
Oreo Moon Phases
Use the popular cookie to explore the eight key stages in the moon phase cycle. Get some milk ready for when you “clean up” the activity.
Starburst Rock Cycle
Learn about sedimentary, metamorphic, and igneous rocks using Starburst candies and a toaster oven. (Adult supervision required.)
Physics Food Experiments for Kids
Yes, you can even learn about physics through fun food science experiments. Continue reading to find out how:
What do roller coasters and satellites have in common? They both use centripetal force! Explore this physics wonder with the help of a little Jello.
The Egg Drop Challenge!
Learn about inertia and energy with this simple egg challenge.
Gumdrop Bridge STEM Challenge
Use toothpicks and gumdrops and what you know about physics to design the strongest bridge possible. Be careful not to eat the candy too soon, or your bridge will fall!
Make a battery from a lemon! It’s called a voltaic battery, which changes chemical energy into electrical energy.
The Magic Ketchup Experiment!
Ketchup can be so much fun! Learn about buoyancy and density using ketchup, salt, and a bottle.
Orange Buoyancy Science Experiment
Find out whether oranges sink or swim. What if they are peeled? Learn about forces and buoyancy in this simple experiment.
Skittles Density Rainbow
Find out about density and learn the colors of the rainbow in this sweet experiment using Skittles and water.
Turbulence on a Plane Explained with Jello
Simulate turbulence on a plane using a toy plane in a Jello mold. What happens to the plane when the Jello around it is eaten? That is another scientific question.
Learn More About Food Science
The following are not necessarily science experiments, but you can learn about science through the kitchen in other ways. Take a look at these food-related science resources:
Cookie-Baking Chemistry: How to Engineer Your Perfect Sweet Treat
Baking cookies is almost magical. You put little balls of wet, white dough into the oven and out pop brown, crispy, tasty biscuits. Find out about the chemistry behind cookie making here.
How Spud Guns Work
Is there anything cooler than a potato launcher? Read this article to examine the science behind spud guns’ ability to fire potatoes over long distances.
Watch episodes of Kitchen Chemistry | The Ruff Ruffman Show and perform online experiments from PBS.
Mmmm… Flavorful Food!
Check out this article to learn about the science behind why some foods taste good–Yummy–and why others don’t–Yuck.
A Science Experiment Yields Cake
Read this short story as a reminder that kids just love to create their own experiments with food. It’s the process that counts!
Have you tried any other fun kitchen experiments with your kids? Share them below in the comments section.