Learn About Carrots
by Kerry Cordy
When I think about carrots, the first thing that comes to mind is Bugs Bunny munching away. Crunchy and tasty both raw and cooked, this fantastic root vegetable is considered a perfect health food. If you are working on your Carrots Badge, here are some great resources to get you started. Visit the Carrot Badge page for the full set of requirements.
Carrots of Different Colors
While most people think of the traditional orange carrots, these yummy vegetables come in a variety of colors including purple, red, and yellow. Gather a variety of carrots in different colors and sizes to taste. Which do you like best and why?
Grow Your Own Carrots
The best way to learn about carrots is to grow your own. Choose one or more varieties and either plant them in your outdoor garden, or grown them indoors in a simple pot. For complete instructions on indoor gardening for carrots visit GardenKnowHow.
While you are waiting for your carrots to grow, continue on to learn more about these interesting vegetables.
5 Health Benefits of Carrots
Eating carrots can improve your health in a wide variety of ways
- Healthy Vision – The vitamin A in carrots helps to prevent age related vision loss, helps you see in the dark, and maintain general eye health.
- Prevent Cancer – Evidence has been found that the carotenoids in carrots, yellow, orange, and red organic pigments, may reduce the risk of cancer and may even slow or stop the progression of certain cancers such as leukemia.
- Improve Digestive Health – The high fiber found in carrots helps to improve the general health of your digestive track
- Lower Blood Pressure – Carrots are high in potassium combined with their high fiber helps to reduce the risk of high blood pressure.
- Bone Health – Carrots contain vitamin K and small amounts of calcium and phosphorus. All of these contribute to bone health and may help prevent osteoporosis.
- Immune Health – Carrots also contain vitamin C which has been shown to help keep your immune system strong so that you can recover from illness and injuries faster.
For a fun game, click the image above for a fullsizes printable version. Cut the cards along the dotted line and mix them up. Place them randomly face down and play a matching game to match the health benefits of carrots. If you have a group of kids you can also pass out the cards and on “Go!” have everyone find and match up with their partner.
Where Are Carrots Grown?
Using the free printable map of the United states from Coloring Castle, color the states that are known for carrot production. You can find a list of carrot producing states on the ArcGis map. Then do the same with the free printable map of the world from Coloring Home. Visit World Atlas for a list of countries that grow carrots.
Carrot Recipes – Raw and Cooked
From carrot cake to stir fry, carrots can be used as a main dish, side dish, salad, snack or even dessert. Test out some carrot recipes and see which way you like them best.
- Carrot Cake
- Honey Glazed Carrots
- Carrot Patties
- Ginger Veggie Stir Fry
- Carrot Soup
- Carrot Apple Butterfly Snack
Learn to make a carrot rose to garnish your dish. (This is a Youtube video so I apologize for the ads….)
Learn about taproots and how carrots absorb and use water.
What You Need:
3 Unpeeled Carrots ; Sharp knife; Cutting board; Glass; Water; Red food coloring
Fill a glass half full with water. Cut the end tip off of a carrot. Ask an adult to help you! Put the carrot in the glass of water. Put the glass near a window that lets in sunshine. Watch the carrot for a few days. What happens?
Repeat the first experiment with a 2 new carrots, but this time put 10 drops of red food coloring into the glass of water for each one. Leave the carrots in the water for several days. Remove one carrot and place on the cutting board. With the help of an adult, cut the carrot in half vertically. Look inside. You should see red coloring in the tubes of the carrot that go from the bottom to the top of it showing how water is absorbed by the carrot. Cut the second carrot in half horizontally. How does the view differ?
The History of Carrots
The history of carrots goes back centuries, but one of the most interesting pieces of history was how carrots were used in a propaganda campaign during WWII. The Smithsonian Magazine has a great article about how the British military tricked the Germans into believing they could see in the dark all because of carrots!
For an in depth discussion on carrot history and the timeline of how carrots have been grown and used throughout history, visit the Carrot Museum History page.
You can get free printable timeline forms from Squarehead Teachers.
The Carrot Museum
For all things carrot take a virtual tour of the Carrot Museum. Learn about musical instruments made from carrots or about carrots in space. Find out about carrots in fine art or the medicinal uses of carrots. Find jokes, crafts, experiments and more. This all inclusive site has answers to just about any carrot question you may have.
For more badge resources follow our Badge of the Week calendar as we choose a new badge each week to focus on.