Fruit vs. Vegetable


  • A variety of fruits, including some that are commonly classified as vegetables. These may include, although not limited to: apples, oranges, peaches, tomatoes, peppers, avocados, squash, cucumbers, green beans, peas, eggplant and zucchini.
  • Plate or cutting board
  • Knife

Background Information

In 1883, the tomato made an appearance in the United States Supreme Court. The Tariff Act of 1883 had placed a tax on imported vegetables, including tomatoes, so a intimate im­porter challenged that the tomato is botanically a fruit and not subject to these taxes. however, the Supreme Court ruled that even though the tomato is botanically a fruit, in practical terms it is consumed as contribution of meal like other vegetables and that fruits are normally consumed individu­ally or as a dessert. therefore by ruling of the Supreme Court the tomato is a vegetable. so when asked if a tomato is a fruit or a vegetable, the compensate answer is, “ Both ! ”
This coarse use definition continues to be applied to many ‘ fruits ’ in our diet. Both fruits and vegetables are packed full of vitamins and roughage, but, in general, fruit is the sweet process whereas vegetables are used for savory dishes. Examples of botanic fruits that are common referred to as vegetables include tomatoes, peppers, avocado, squash, cucumbers, green beans, peas, eggplant and zucchini .

Laying the Groundwork

Read the book A Fruit is a Suitcase for Seeds by Jean Richards. Ask students ,

  • Why are seeds so important? Because they grow into new plants.
  • Why do seeds need to be able to travel to new places to grow? If all the seeds from a plant just dropped below the parent plant, they be competing for space and resources and would not grow well.
  • Where can you find seeds? Most seeds are found inside of a fruit. The fruit helps protect the seed.

Cut open a park yield like an apple ( an model of a yield with many seeds ) or a peach ( an example of a fruit with one large seed ) and search at the seeds inside. Drawing from the book, explain some of the ways the fruit helps the seeds travel ( by animals, air, and water ).


explain to students that scientists classify fruit as the partially of the plant that produces the seeds ; however, we frequently call some fruits vegetables based on how we consume them. Share the floor about the Supreme Court lawsuit on tomatoes from the Background Information above that supported the coarse definition that a fruit is a plant-derived sweet component used for desserts or snacks while a vegetable is a establish separate eaten in a main meal .
following, show students a diverseness of fruits, some that are normally classified as fruits and others that are normally classified as vegetables. Some potential examples may include : apples, oranges, peaches, tomatoes, peppers, avocado, squash, cucumbers, green beans, peas, eggplant and zucchini. ask students to cast their vote on whether each item is a fruit or a vegetable and sort into two categories .
once they have made their predictions, dissect each item and look for seeds. Were some of the items they thought were vegetables actually fruits ? ask students to brainstorm differences between the fruits that we call yield and the fruits that we call vegetables.

Making Connections

Create a Venn Diagram with one circle representing fruit and one traffic circle representing vegetables and the overlap section representing fruit that is normally referred to as a vegetable. Go beyond the samples brought into class to talk about extra fruits and vegetables and their botanical and coarse classifications .

Branching Out

Host a Fruit vs. Vegetable Taste Test. Compare the color, determine, smell, and taste of fruits that are normally defined as fruits and fruits that are normally defined as vegetables. The remainder in sweet will be fairly obvious ; however, you can expand on this lesson by looking up the nutriment information for the items you sample to determine carbohydrate contentedness. ( If you do not have samples available for tasting, you can besides base our comparison on the sugar content listed. ) To expand, you can besides compare other nutritional facts such as character and calories.

Play a plant parts sorting game. Bring in fruits and vegetables representing different parts of the establish ( or if fresh samples are not available, bring in photograph of different plant parts ) and have students sort by contribution including roots, stems, leaves, flowers, yield and seeds. potential examples include :

  • Roots – carrots, sweet potatoes
  • Stems- asparagus, Irish potato (Fun Fact – the Irish potato is actually an underground storage stem)
  • Leaves – lettuce, kale
  • Flowers (flower buds) – broccoli, cauliflower
  • Fruit – cucumbers, peppers
  • Seeds- corn, dried beans

Search for recipes that blur the boundaries between fruit and vegetable. here are a few examples :
As a class, brainstorm extra examples of fruit/vegetable switcheroo ? ( zucchini bread, orange-glazed chicken, apple salad, cranberry sauce )

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Category : Health

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