Content: Plants on Our Plate: Fruits and Vegetbles

Have you been tired and felt like you didn’t have any energy? How do we get energy?

1. OXYGEN from the air we breathe.

2. FOOD we eat gives us energy and nutrients to grow and build a healthy body.

3. EXERCISE to keep systems flowing and strengthen them.

4. REST for the brain to gather chemicals needed for the next day.

Do you eat plants; roots, stems, leaves, seeds? (Many young children will respond no!) We eat all the parts of plants. Remind them about the energizing grains, the group of foods like rice, corn, pasta, bread. Two other food groups good for you to eat are vegetables and fruits. Are plants alive? Yes plants are alive and go from seed to seed growing and multiplying. They breathe; need sun to live, water to drink, and vitamins and minerals from the soil to grow strong. Plants turn the light of the sun to energy! You don’t see plants going to the grocery store for food. Their leaves make their food from sunlight through a process we call photosynthesis. Plants are producers and they feed the planet!

What are the parts of a plant? Say after me; roots, stems, leaves, flowers, fruits, and seeds. Teach children the song about the 6 plant parts. Hold up a vegetable or fruit and let the children tell if it is a fruit or vegetable. Ask what part of the plant is it and let them say if it grows on a tree, vine, or bush. Make up puzzles for the children such as: What is white inside, grows on a tree and can be red, yellow, or green? (apples) What is the difference in processed and unprocessed food? Which is better for you? Fresh raw or steamed vegetables and fruits are best to eat. Ask children to name some of the fruits and vegetables grown in S.C. We get many vitamins and minerals from fruits and vegetables that help our whole body grow strong and healthy.

Activities Show some energy by doing some stretching and energizing exercises. Hand out samples of fruits and vegetables(artificial samples) and let them tell what part of the plant it is and what kind of plant it grows on (vine, bush, or tree) Solve food puzzles. Ex. It is a root and is the color orange. What is it? Children learn the songs “I am a Sprout” and “Six Plant Parts”

Materials: Food Pyramid chart, samples of fruits and vegetables; coconut, broccoli, carrot, potato, celery, apple, leaves. These represent the different parts of a plant.
Books to read: Where Food Comes From by David Suzuki and Barbara Hehner, Growing Vegetable Soup by Lois Elhert