What Grows from a Seed? Teaching Kids Where Food Comes From
By Rachel Ward
Sweet watermelon, tangy oranges, sour Granny Smith apples—those big flavors and bright colors make toddlers’ taste buds ignite! Beyond the latest and greatest flavor sensation, though, fruits can ignite kids’ curiosity. Just where does their food come from?
Now that they’re able to eat solid foods and totter and run to their hearts’ content, toddlers are on the hunt for any and all new information about their world—and that includes exploring new textures, smells, and tastes at meal time.
“Toddlers are still learning about things that we often take for granted, like knowing that the fruits and vegetables we eat come from tiny little seeds planted in the ground,” says Courtney Hines, KinderCare Education’s nutritionist.
That’s why this month at KinderCare, toddlers in our classroom are munching on nature’s tasty produce—from watermelons to apples—and discovering just where their snacks come from!
Where Does Food Comes From? This Food Activity Teaches Kids All About Seeds
In this seed activity, our teachers slice and dice the fruit before giving tots a spoon and letting them scoop out the seeds (no need to worry, parents, we’re supervising closely). As toddlers get a closer look, our teachers explain that the fruit they’re about to eat actually comes from those tiny little seeds!
“Discovering that certain foods grow from a seed in the ground can be eye-opening for toddlers, especially if they haven’t seen a vegetable garden—they may think food just comes straight from the grocery store,” explains Hines.
We’ve got you covered during the weekdays with new and exciting food activities at KinderCare, but there are also some easy ways you can teach your tot where fruits come from and the things we can make from them. Try a few of our ideas this weekend!
Plant a Seed of Knowledge and Watch It Grow! 4 Ways to Show Your Toddler Where Food Comes From
1. Grow a Little Plant with Your Toddler
Has your family just eaten some tomatoes or lemons? Take some of those seeds outside, and show your toddler how to plant and care for them until they’re ripe for the picking! It’s also been shown that tots are more likely to try new kinds of produce when they’ve grown it themselves, so this could be a great activity if you have an especially picky eater on your hands.
2. Visit a U-Pick Farm
Little ones always have a blast carrying a basket around and picking exactly which fruits they want to bring home with them. Not to mention, seeing an entire field of colorful produce can really open their eyes! (Need some fresh ideas for how to use your cornucopia of produce? Check out our creative ways to use strawberries or try our blueberry-banana baked oatmeal!)
3. Make Your Own Bread Spread
Making your own jam is delicious and fun (and bonus, doing it yourself means you can cut out corn syrup and sugar found in store-bought versions). While this process is mostly for adults, your child can still help by adding the fruits into the pot before you get going.
4. Whip Up Some (Sugar-Free) Juice or Smoothies
We don’t serve juice in our centers due to the high sugar content found in store-bought brands, but making your own healthy version at home is quick and easy. Have your tot help you load fruit into a juicer or blender, and flip the switch. You’ll have tasty juice quick as a wink!