Perfect plant salad
The aim of this session is to help children understand that lots of the foods we eat are grown and come from plants. The main activity, ‘Have a go’, involves the children learning how to make a crunchy vegetable salad and develop their cutting and grating skills.
Listen and respond
Prepare the ingredients and equipment in advance. What you will need is listed on the Perfect plant salad recipe. You may wish to get some additional ingredients to add to the salad such as sweetcorn, apple, spring onions or herbs. You will also need to have some small cooked jacket potatoes cut in half. Aim to have these ready at lunchtime so the children can add their salad and eat them as part of their lunch. Show the children a potato, a white cabbage, a carrot (ideally with some leaves
attached) and celery. You could use the ‘Plant cards’ as well.
Question the children:
- What are they called?
- What do they taste like?
- How have they eaten them? (For example, mashed potato, cooked and raw
- Where do they come from?
Explain that all these vegetables have been grown and that they all come from plants. Explain that potatoes and carrots grow underground and the cabbage and celery above the ground. Talk about which parts of plants we eat, e.g. a carrot is a root, cabbage is the leaves. Explain that plants are living things and they need light
and water to grow. Explain that these vegetables can be used to make part of a healthy meal. Explain that potatoes are being cooked in the oven for lunch and you are going to show them how to make a salad filling to go on top.
Ask the children to check that you are ready to cook. Can they tell you everything you must do first? Demonstrate how to make the salad safely. Let the children see you quarter the cabbage and remove its core. Show them how they will be peelingback the leaves and using scissors to cut them into strips. Let them see you top, tail and peel the carrot but explain this part will be done for them. Show them how to grate a carrot safely. Use a stand up grater, rest it on a chopping board and hold it by the handle. A damp cloth placed under the chopping board will stop it sliding around. Grate the carrot but do not grate it all - leave a bit at the end to hold. Halve the celery sticks lengthways, explain that this part will be done for them. Demonstrate how to snip the celery in to small pieces using the scissors. Show how to spoon the yogurt and mayonnaise and how to mix all the ingredients together. Explain that when everyone has made some salad the potatoes will be ready and then the filling can be added.
Have a go
Complete this activity before the lunchtime meal so the children can eat what they have made. Organise the children into groups of 4. Each group can take turns to
work with an adult to make the salad. You may like to offer the children additional ingredients to add such as sweetcorn, chives or a twist of black pepper. When a
batch has been made it must be covered and refrigerated until it is eaten. It will be helpful to label each bowl with the children’s names. Remember to ensure the children have followed all the steps to make sure they are ready to cook, e.g. apron on, hands washed.
Grow some food with the children. Choose fast growing plants like cress or herbs so the children can see the results quickly. These plants can be grown on a window sill. They can be added to salads.
Make a copy of the ‘At home’ sheet for each of the children. Explain to the children what the letter says.
Partially conceal different vegetable and see if the children can name them from the small part they can see.
Get younger children involved in imaginary planting games in the sand pit. Encourage them to dig and plant.