Seeds & Plants
This week’s theme: Plant Parts & Seeds
To get started, think about the parts of plants that are edible! While you may not have thought much about it, seeds are a great addition to any salad – and are fun to eat on their own too!
Learn from an Expert
Kristina Gill, Cookbook Author
Kristina Gill is an award-winning cookbook author, humanitarian adviser, photographer, and dog lover. She was also the food editor for over 10 years at the popular website DesignSponge, before it closed in 2019. Kristina currently resides in Italy, but hopes to return sometime soon-ish to her hometown, Nashville.
Kristina likes to think about the “treasures” she can add to her salad – which often can be seeds or herbs. To help us improve our own salad making skills, she is sharing with us her Top 5 salad tips. Kristina should know since she has spent a lot of time in various restaurant kitchens, asking lots of questions, and eating a lot of salads. (she also reminds us to make sure to properly wash your hands and clean all your surfaces before handling food!)
- Make sure the lettuce, if you’re using it, is thoroughly cleaned (you don’t want gritty salad!) and dry (you don’t want soggy salad!). You can use a salad spinner for this, or lightly roll it up and press with paper towels to blot out the moisture. I like a variety of lettuce for different textures and tastes.
- I always like to have one or two ‘treasures’– whether it is candied nuts, cubes of my favorite cheese, bacon, olives,pieces of leftover chicken. I feel like I hit the jackpot when my fork picks one of them up.
- I like to have crunchy things. Carrots are my favorite. But also nuts, radishes, celery, red peppers, celery.
- Salads don’t have to be made of lettuce. I had a wonderful lentil salad in Geneva made with onions, bell peppers, and other herbs. I’ve also had nice chickpea salads, potato salad, fennel and grapefruit salad. I think mostly anything served cold or sometimes warm can be called a salad. Can’t it?
- For salad dressings, if you are serving a lettuce-based salad, wait right before eating to add a small amount, then let guests add more if they like. That way the salad doesn’t get soggy, and you don’t add too much!
Activity: The Seeds We Eat
This activity from Chef Kiah (TasteWise Kids contributor and chef/owner of Wilde Thyme Food truck) explores edible parts of plants such as the seed, root, stem and flower. Can you think of some of the seeds you eat and how they taste?
Materials for Activity
- Piece of paper to draw one flower with labeled plant parts
- Crayons, makers or something else to color with
- Cut fruit or veggies that represent each plant part – examples:
flower (cucumbers), seeds (corn or sunflower seeds), stem (celery), leaf (spinach), roots (carrots) (you can use pictures of each of these plants or draw them onto the picture if you don't have the items)
Connect with Us
The instructions for this activity are broken down into three steps with direction for kids and for parents.
Using The Seeds We Eat worksheet draw a line between the word and the food that it matches. You can also follow along and draw your own pictures as you go.
- Can you think of any seeds we can eat? Write answers below their picture.
- Can you think of how they taste?
Now that you've learned a bit about seeds and what plant parts are edible, get creative by making some plant part art. Use your Plant Part Sheet to identify the parts of the flower.
- Think about different types of fruits or vegetables that represent each plant part. For example, for leaves – spinach, lettuce, arugula, etc.
Ask your child to think of the vegetables that would be a match for the plant.
Use the cut up vegetables to cover up each appropriate part of the plant (see picture as example) and glue them down.
While the vegetables are being glued, ask for a sensory description (touch, smell, taste).
Key point: We can eat different parts of plants from the root to the flower.
Key Activity Points
- We eat lots of different types of seeds.
- We can eat different parts of plants from the root to the flower.
- Seeds are a nutritious part of plants.