Page 1


For ages 3-6

food literacy for young readers and eaters

Let’s go find a pumpkin! visit a farm

explore a field

make a recipe Volume 1, Issue 1



food literacy for young readers and eaters


Editor & CEO Jill Colella


Managing Editor Elizabeth Frank Art Director Claire Mont Editorial Lanie Tu, Associate Editor; Dan Sher, Digital Editor; Kent Land, Copy Editor

Pumpkin Patch

Look Inside



How It Grows

Pumpkin Foods

Production Chester P. West, Manager; Jeff Sohn, Associate Designer; Reed Fort, Special Projects Butternut magazine is published bimonthly by Teach Kids to Cook LLC, Magazine Group, 876 West Seventh Street, Loft 355, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55102. For customer service issues such as subscriptions, address changes, renewals or purchasing back issues, please visit:, email, write to Butternut, 876 West Seventh Street, Unit 355, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55102. Postmaster: Send changes of address to Butterbut, 876 West Seventh Street, Unit 355, Saint Paul, Minnesota 55102. Š2015 Butternut/Teach Kids to Cook, all rights reserved, including the right of reproduction in whole or in part, in any form. Email queries to hello@ We are not responsible for unsolicited manuscripts or other material. All reader contributions, including original artwork, are assumed for publication and become the property of Butternut/ Teach Kids to Cook, LLC. Reader contributions may be edited for length and clarity.




Edible Seeds


A note for adults: this magazine is meant to inspire curiosity about food in both children and adults. Every family has its own ideas about food and cooking, including what foods are appropriate to eat and who is allowed to create in the kitchen. As in most endeavors, children are most successful when parental guidance and support meet their inquisitiveness and enthusiasm. As you use this magazine, please be mindful that cooking with kids is most fun and most successful when it has clear rules and division of responsibility. Children as young as two years old can participate in some hands-on cooking activities with careful adult direction; adults must always create a safe, supervised environment when children cook. Also important is conveying to children what they may and may not do independently when it comes to preparing, serving or eating food. With clear expectations in your household, this magazine can become an amazing tool to help children become eager learners about all aspects of food. Look for these icons:

Adult supervision

Caution: Heat

Caution: Knives

Young Readers and Eaters Hello Autumn! Do you love fall? The leaves on the



turn colors like red and yellow.

Vocabulary Find these words as you read along. pumpkin

The chilly wind makes the leaves rustle. Round, orange .


pumpkins are waiting

to be picked. Fall fruits and vegetables like pumpkins, squash and


apples are

fresh ingredients for cooking. Goodbye summer, hello fall!


What does fall look like, sound like and taste like for you?


Your friend, Jill Colella, Editor


“My favorite thing about fall is wearing sweaters. What about you?�


Let’s Go

PI CKI N G PUMPKI N S A field where pumpkins grow is a pumpkin patch.


How many pumpkins can you count?

What things do you see in this pumpkin patch?

What shape are these pumpkins?


Critical Thinking Question

Who spends time in a pumpkin patch? Why? 5

Molly is visiting a farm today. What does Molly see at the farm? She sees a rooster, a tractor, a piglet and apples.

? 6

Critical Thinking Question

How are these things the same or different?

On the farm is a pumpkin patch.


What color leaves have you seen before?

Critical Thinking Question

Would you like to go to a pumpkin patch?

Pumpkins are ready to pick in the fall. Fall is here when leaves turn colors and fall from the trees.


Molly searches for a perfect pumpkin.

Pumpkin plants have flowers. 8

Pumpkin leaves are pretty.

Pumpkin vines are prickly.

Pumpkins are too heavy for the vines to hold.

Molly spots pumpkins on the ground. They are hidden under big green leaves and curly vines. Has Molly found her pumpkin? 9

Yes! She picks this one. Molly giggles. Her pumpkin is too big to lift.

Molly spots butterflies in the patch.



Critical Thinking Question

What other animals might Molly see?


Molly is excited. Her family is going to make a jack o’lantern.



Critical Thinking Question

Do you think that Molly chose a good pumpkin? What type would you choose?


Let’s Look What does a pumpkin look like? T h e out s i d e of a pu mp k i n c a n b e or a n g e or g re e n or e v e n s om e t i m e s w h it e . It c a n b e s m o ot h or bu mpy or r i d g e d . What does the inside look like?

A pumpkin has squishy, stringy stuff called pulp inside. Tangled in the pulp are many flat, oval seeds.



Critical Thinking Question

What do you think the inside of a pumpkin feels like? Soft or hard? Wet or dry?

Let’s Grow How does a pumpkin grow? D u r i n g t h e s u m m e r, t i ny pu mp k i n s e e d s a re p l a nt e d i n t h e f i e l d . T h e s e s e e d s g e r m i n at e a n d g row t i ny s h o ot s a n d ro ot s . shoot seed root

All summer long the shoots and roots grow into large plants. The plants develop flowers and a pumpkin starts to grow. Then, in the early fall, pumpkins are ready to be harvested. Their stems are cut away from the vines. A pumpkin needs sunshine and water to grow! 15

Let’s Taste How do you eat pumpkin? Pumpkins can be cooked and eaten. Pumpkin can be tasty to eat. The fleshy part of a pumpkin can be boiled, steamed, baked or roasted. When it is cooked, the fleshy part becomes very soft. Pumpkin can be an ingredient in savor y foods like soup, stew, pasta and curr y. P u mp k i n c a n b e i n s w e e t e r f o o d s l i k e pi e s a n d mu f f i n s . Pumpkin seeds can be eaten. When toasted in the oven, the seeds become crunchy. Eat them alone, or sprinkle on soup or salWh e n pu mp k i n i s ro a s t e d , it t a s t e s s w e e t . 16

Let’s Think Pumpkin is an orange food. What other foods are the color orange?










Find all the round objects. Find all the objects that begin with the letter p. Find all the fruits and vegetables. 17

1. cantaloupe 2. carrots 3. cracker 4. dried apricots 5. papaya 6. peaches 7. orange 8. cheese 9. sherbet

Let’s Cook

Equipment: knife cutting board grater or food processor large saucepan wooden spoon

Ingredients: 3 tablespoons butter 1 medium onion, finely chopped 1 clove garlic, finely chopped 1 tablespoon brown sugar 1 cup potato, peeled and shredded 1 cup apple, peeled and shredded 1 can (14 ½ ounces) vegetable broth ½ cup water ½ teaspoon salt ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper 1 can (15 ounces) cooked canned unsweetened pumpkin 1 can (12 ounces) evaporated milk ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg


12 3 4 56 7 How to Make Pumpkin Soup

Melt butter in large saucepan over medium heat.

Add onion, garlic and brown sugar to saucepan and cook until soft or about 4 minutes.

Serves 4

Add potato and apple to saucepan and cook until tender, 1 to 2 minutes.

Turn heat to medium-high and bring mixture to a boil, and then reduce heat to low.

Next, add broth, water, salt and pepper.

Cook for 15 minutes on low, stirring occasionally. Then, stir in pumpkin, evaporated milk, cinnamon and nutmeg.

Cook on low, stirring thoroughly. After a few minutes, taste soup. If soup is too thick, add Âź cup water, or for a creamier consistency, add a Âź cup more evaporated milk. Cook for 5 more minutes on low.

Optional: You can puree soup using an immersion blender, traditional blender or food processor if you wish.


Let’s Cook


Planning to carve a jack o’ lantern this Halloween? Save the seeds and make a snack.

How to Make Roasted Pumpkin Seeds


Remove seeds from a pumpkin.

2 3 4 5

Rinse and dry one and a half cups of raw pumpkin seeds.

Spread seeds on a baking sheet.

Toss seeds with a tablespoon of melted butter and a half teaspoon of garlic salt.

Roast in an oven preheated to 325 degrees Fahrenheit for about 45 minutes or until toasty and golden

Max loves Halloween. He has designed his jack o’ lantern to look like a robot. He is also making a robot costume to wear. What costume will you wear for Halloween?


Let’s Explore

Squash Pumpkins belong to a group of vegetables called squash. There are many different kinds of squash. They come in many shapes, sizes and colors. Squash is a bit like potatoes. It can be cut into chunks and roasted, mashed or even baked whole.

Squash can be good to eat by itself or added to foods like stew, soup or curry.

What do you notice about the different kinds of squash on page 23? Are they similar to pumpkins? 22

Match Up Directions: Carefully cut out the cards along the dotted lines. Place them face down. Take turns trying to match pairs.







sugar pumpkin



sugar pumpkin






hubbard 23


















Let’s Make

Painted Pumpkin Rather than carving a pumpkin, create a silly, scary or spooky pumpkin using washable paint. Begin by drawing on blank paper. Try out different ideas and pick your favorite face. Transfer the face to the pumpkin. Tape the drawing to a pumpkin and trace over the drawing with a dull pencil to etch lines into the pumpkin flesh. Go over those lines with black permanent marker. Allow young artists to fill in traced areas. Experiment with stencils or sponges cut into shapes. 25

Let’s Make Pumpkin Squirrel Feeder

Make a natural squirrel feeder. Hollow out a pumpkin and remove innards. Save seeds. Carve small circles, squares or triangle that squirrels can climb through. Place seeds back inside and replace the top. Position the pumpkin somewhere that you can observe together. See if you can spot squirrels feasting. Talk about how animals find food in their ecosystems.

Grocery Game

See if you can find five foods that contain pumpkin on your next store visit. Perhaps you might find pumpkin muffins or pumpkin ice cream. See how many orange-colored foods you can find.

Pumpkin Password

Practice observing and brainstorming and penmanship. Have students make a list of words that describe a pumpkin. Each student records the words on his or her own piece of paper. Ask each student to write one word on a real pumpkin with permanent marker. Keep pumpkin in classroom. 26

Grow a Pumpkin Patch

Over a series of days or weeks, “grow” your own pumpkins and learn about growing stages. This is fun for a whole class to do together to form an entire “patch.” If there is no wall or floor space, hanging folders can also be used (label one for each child). Cut “seeds” from index cards or construction paper. Place in the designated “patch” or folder. Craft green seedlings using construction paper or green pipe cleaners. Replace the seeds with the seedlings. Make yellow flowers from tissue paper to add to the seedlings. Replace these with small pumpkins made from small paper plates or construction paper. Finally, replace the small pumpkins with larger three-dimensional ones made from paper bags. Harvest your pumpkins and transform them into jack o’lanterns.

Creative Story Prompts

Read the story of Molly’s pumpkin patch visit together. Talk about hoe stories have beginning, middles and ends. Use the prompts to create your own stories together: I live in a pumpkin patch. | A day at the pumpkin patch... | If I were a pumpkin... | A perfect fall day... | I pick a pumpkin... 27

Let’s Teach Butternut is designed to be a tool that “scales up” as a child becomes more developmentally advanced and ready for more experiences and activities. Emphasizing food literacy and reading literacy simultaneously, adults can guide younger readers through the narrative sections and easier activities. Older readers will have longer attention spans for learning in greater depth. The issue is designed to support parents and teachers by presenting vocabulary and concepts multiple times and in multiple ways, tapping into various modalities of learning. For teachers and homeschool collectives, the issue’s contents can be used as a complement to curricula or as a stand-alone mini-unit.

Curriculum Themes Content Vocabulary

Visual Literacy Elements

Plants, seasons, food, nutrition Pumpkin, farm, patch, fall, leaves, vines, seed, plants, perfect, big, round, cooked, grow, orange, soup, squash, paint, Halloween Visual vocabulary, symbols, comparing images

Comprehension strategies

Drawing inferences, self-questioning, linking new information to existing fund of knowledge

High-Frequency Words

Pumpkin, patch, pick, perfect, seed


Let’s Read

Fun Books for Further Reading Big Pumpkin Erica Silverman A witch grows a gigantic pumpkin, but cannot move it so she can use it to bake a pie. All the strongest creatures try, but a clever bat saves the day. The Little Old Lady Who Was Not Afraid of Anything Through the dark woods, an old woman is pursued by inanimate objects—a pumpkin head, shoes, pants, shirt and more—and stays staid in her self-knowledge that she is scared of nothing. A happy ending is had when she devises a plan for using the objects in a beneficial way. Pumpkin Soup Helen Cooper Pumpkin soup is the usual supper for three friends, Cat, Duck and Squirrel. After a disagreement over who should stir the soup, the friends have a terrible argument. They find a way to work out their problem, providing young readers with a powerful lesson in mending friendships.

Pumpkin Jack Will Hubbell Not quite ready to dispose of his jack-o'-lantern, a boy places the decomposing pumpkin in the garden. As time passes, it sprouts a new plant, perfect for carving into a festive jack-o'-lantern. From Seed to Pumpkin Wendy Pfeffer A non-fiction book that details the steps from seed to fullygrown fruit, this resource breaks down complicated scientific ideas (like expiration of water through roots) with examples that preschoolers and kindergartners will find relatable. The Very Best Pumpkin Mark Kimball Moulton A young boy raises a pumpkin with great attention and care on his grandparents’ farm. A young girl visits the farm and picks his pumpkin as the one she would like to take home. The sweet story shows how we can appreciate people’s gifts and form friendships.


Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you