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Learning About the Flower of the Plant

 

This month we discussed the flower of the plant at our Healthy Eating Lessons and made a Broccoli and Cauliflower Salad with a creamy Greek yogurt dressing!

The flower’s job is to attract pollinators so they can later produce fruit. We explained how flowers come in many colors and shapes to attract different bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds to the plants and were impressed that many of the students knew about the importance of pollinators and even asked questions about the diminishing bee population.

 

We played a game where the students had to match different flowers to the fruits they become – which gave a sneak peek into what our lesson next month will be about! Some flowers were more obvious to the group: they knew what the small yellow flowers of a tomato plant look like, and a couple even guessed the big orange zucchini flowers. Our peach blossoms stumped the group; they had recently learned about cherry blossoms in school and were hoping that was the answer! We hope that this exercise helped to connect the dots between the flower and the fruit of the plant.

Because our recipe that day featured broccoli and cauliflower, we also showed pictures of what the plants look like if they are not harvested when the broccoli is still a bud or the cauliflower is just a head and they are left to continue their lifecycle and bloom into flowers. The students were shocked by the tiny yellow flowers that broccoli plants produce, and they were equally amazed by the picture of the pale flowers that come from cauliflower.

Finally it was time to prepare the salad! The children excitedly chopped up their ingredients and made the dressing, and they could choose to top their salads with a little bacon or cheese if they wanted! Adding these ingredients helps if they are nervous about trying something new (like raw broccoli or cauliflower); they can take a bite of something familiar and something new at the same time and blend the flavors together. This technique works very well for the children who are more hesitant to try new things, and we had a large group of kids come back for second and even third helpings. While our goal is for the group to learn about healthy eating and new fruits and vegetables, we have a second objective at each lesson – making sure everyone goes home with a full belly. For our Flower of the Plant lesson, we certainly achieved that!

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