the Carrot Seed

CONCEPT: Growing up with PKU



Read a story about a boy who planted a carrot seed that no one thought would grow. He takes good care of the seed and soon it begins to grow into a beautiful carrot. Plant carrot seeds with the children, talk about how to take care of them, and talk about how people take care of themselves to be healthy.



After completing this activity, children will be able to:

  • understand the different things that plants need to grow (water, sun, soil)
  • understand that people need different things to grow
  • recognize carrots as a “yes” food



  1. Read the story The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss.
  2. Show the children real carrots and/or pictures of carrots.
  3. Give the children crayons to color their books. Talk about:
    • What did the little boy do to help his carrot grow?
    • What do vegetables need to grow? (nutrients—soil, water, light)
    • Do people need the same things as vegetables to grow?
    • What things do people need that plants don’t? (children with PKU need formula and low-phe "yes" foods to grow)
  4. Plant carrot seeds. Talk about how to take care of them, what they need to grow, how they grow.
  5. Discuss:
    • Carrots as a “yes” food:
    • Discuss different ways to eat carrots—cooked, raw, in other food (stew, salads, etc.)
    • Talk about the size/shape/color/taste of carrots:
      • What are they like?
      • Are they crunchy or soft? Big or small?
      • What other things are orange?
    • Talk about how other vegetables and fruits grow. (vines, trees, underground, on bushes)



  • Book: The Carrot Seed by Ruth Krauss. Published by Harper Trophy, 1989. ISBN: 0-06-443210-6.
  • carrots or pictures of carrots
  • small pots or cups
  • soil
  • carrot seeds
  • water



At home, involve your child is meal preparation as much as possible. When cutting fruits and vegetables, take the time to show your child the seeds and to discuss how that plant grows. If you have a garden, encourage your child to plant his/her own section and take some of the responsibility for its care. Indoor pots and planters work well for those people who don't have gardens. This experience will allow your child to see the entire process of plant growth from seed to sprout to a mature fruit or vegetable.



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