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Plant Parts You Eat

Author(s): Nancy Moreno, PhD, and Barbara Tharp, MS.

Let's Talk About It

This activity introduces students to the concept that foods we eat come from different parts of the plant, such as the roots, leaves, seeds, and flowers. By observing different plant-originated foods, students discover that the wide variety of foods we eat originated in many different and geographically separate parts of the world.

Stimulate a discussion about what students observed and reported by asking, Did the inside of your food item look different than the outside? Was your food item a seed, stem, root, leaf, grain, or flower? What are some ways your food item can be prepared to eat? Have each group share the information about its plant food with the rest of the class. 

You may want to contribute some fun facts about plant parts and food. For instance, we know that potatoes are stems, not roots, because a potato in water will produce leaves at the top and roots at the bottom. Also, artichokes are similar to huge sunflower buds, and pineapples consist of the fleshy stems and flowers of a tropical plant.

Funded by the following grant(s)

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

My Health My World: National Dissemination
Grant Number: 5R25ES009259
The Environment as a Context for Opportunities in Schools
Grant Number: 5R25ES010698, R25ES06932