Getting kids to try new vegetables isn’t always the easiest thing – but someone has to do it! The Everyday Kids pilot went into local schools last week to bring some veggie-love into the classroom. After some hands-on exploration with soil types, we presented a crazy idea to kindergarteners and third grade – that many of the foods we eat are actually the roots of plants! To prepare for some taste testing, the first lesson also consisted of introducing these delicious root vegetables; beets, daikon, carrots, radishes, black radishes, ginger, and parsnip. In order to get both classes really excited for trying them, we set up a root vegetable scavenger hunt on the playground. The kids loved this activity and highly anticipated trying out the veggies for the next class. This veggie hunt is also adaptable for fun at home.
For the root vegetable hunt:
1. Make sure to hide a variety of root vegetables (we had about 15 kids in each class so we made sure to have at least 15 vegetables in total, but ended up with much more) in a contained area like the playground or in a fenced backyard. Save one of each of the types of vegetables for the next step. 2. When you’re with the children, introduce them to the root vegetables you hid. Make sure they remember the names of each one. **It is up to you whether you want to introduce the activity by presenting the parts of a plant and explaining that roots are also our food. 3. Next, let them know that they will be going on a hunt for these vegetables. If there are a number of kids, separate them into teams. The team who finds the most vegetables wins. If these are older children, tell them that in order to receive a point for a find, they must be able to name the vegetable. 4. After about five minutes (or more depending on how many vegetables you hid), have the groups come back so that they can compare their findings. 5. Have a reward available for everyone, even the losing teams. After a taste test of the raw roots, Everyday Kids gave both classes chocolate beet root cake with ginger. It was a hit ! – and had plenty of healthy hidden beets in it, too.