We all heard adults say, “Eat your veggies, and don’t play with your food.” But have you heard, “Dig for your food”?
One of the pleasures of being a Master Gardener was that I got to devise and use games to teach children the importance of food and how it grows.
Treasure Hunt Game
The Treasure Hunt game uses a variety of vegetables that grow underground.
First, choose an assortment from red and white potatoes, turnips, rutabagas, red beets, sweet potatoes, radishes, carrots, parsnips, garlic, jicama, celery root, Jerusalem artichokes, and onions. You can also add roasted peanuts in the shell. Peanuts grow underground too!
Place the selected combination in a large mixing bowl or clean cardboard box.
Bury the treasure under uncooked rice. Allow kids to dig with their hands or slotted spoon to find the booty.
Best of all, you and your child can plan a menu to use the found bounty for snacks, soup or a side dish.
The rice can be rinsed and used in your favorite recipes. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Prepare raw veggies into finger food size pieces and serve with their favorite dip or yogurt. Choose from: carrots, radishes, jicama, turnips, rutabagas, celery root, sweet potatoes (never true yams), Jerusalem artichokes, onion and red beets.
Peel and cut potatoes, sweet potatoes, onions, turnips, parsnips, rutabagas, carrots, celery root, and jicama into 1/2-inch chunks.
Place pieces into a large re-closeable plastic bag. Add several tablespoons of olive oil, close bag and shake to coat.
Spread vegetables as a single layer onto a cookie sheet and bake at 350 degrees, turning several times until tender (about 45 minutes). Season as desired. Serve as a side dish or add to soups.