Enjoy a Plant-Part Dinner and Learn Some First Grade Science

What You Need:

  • Cookbooks and recipes you like
  • A variety of foods that represent the parts of a plant, such as:
  • Roots: carrots, turnips, beets
  • Stems: broccoli stems, rhubarb, asparagus
  • Leaves: spinach, cabbage, lettuce
  • Flowers: broccoli florets, cauliflower, sugared pansies
  • Fruits: peaches, pumpkin, tomatoes, cucumbers, grapes, eggplant
  • Seeds: nuts, peas, beans, corn, pumpkin seeds

What You Do:

  1. Wow your child by planning a plant-themed dinner menu for the week. On Monday, serve at least one dish featuring a root. Ask your child if they can guess what dinner item on their plate is a root. And if they have started learning about each plant part's function in school, ask if they can tell you what the particular plant part being served that night does.
  2. On Tuesday, serve at least one dish featuring a stem. Again, ask your child if they can identify the food that is the "stem" on their plate.
  3. Continue in this manner, serving at least one item representing a plant part each day of the week.
  4. At the end of the week, see what your child remembers from the meals you’ve shared. Can they remember what roots they ate this week? Stems? Seeds?
  5. Finally, ask them to decide what their favorite plant dinner item was. Then invite them to sit down with you and look through recipe books for more recipes featuring their favorite plant part food. Now their understanding of plant science is really cooking! And the best part is, they'll be getting a healthy dose of nutrition along the way.

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