Potato Facts for Kids
What am I?
You eat this more than any other vegetable, but not how you think.
I'm most often used as an ingredient in other dishes or fried and served with a burger.
Where I grow
I grow under the ground, and I'm actually a tuber, which means I hold nutrients that the root collects.
If I get sunlight while I'm underground, I'll turn green and poisonous.
After I'm picked
After I'm picked, I should be put in a dark, cool place.
More than half of my harvest is sent to factories to make other food, like chips.
However, I'm also delicious cooked and eaten plain or added to soups.
Did you guess... Potato
Potatoes have been an important food for 7,000 years.
Watch the video to learn more about potatos!
A potato is a root vegetable, the Solanum tuberosum. It is a small plant with large leaves. The part of the potato that people eat is a tuber that grows under the ground.
A potato contains a lot of starch and other carbohydrates. Potato usually has a light-brown or yellowish skin and is white or yellow inside. If the potato gets light on it, the tuber turns green and will be poisonous (only if you eat a lot).
The potato is originally from the high and cool areas of the Andes of Peru. It was grown as a food crop more than 7,000 years ago. When Spanish conquistadores came to South America in the 1500s they took potatoes back to Europe.
It took nearly 200 years for the potato to become a widely grown crop. In the 1780s the farmers in Ireland began growing potatoes because they grew well in the poor soils. They also have most of the vitamins that people need to survive. The Irish became so dependent on the potato that when the crop failed in 1845 there was a famine and many people starved to death.
The potato plant is now grown in many different parts of the world. Captain William Bligh planted potatoes on Bruny Island, Tasmania in 1792. In Australia they are now the largest vegetable crop.
Potatoes are almost always eaten cooked. People cook potatoes by boiling, baking, roasting, or frying them. French fries are potatoes cut into long pieces and fried until they are soft. Potato chips are potatoes cut into very thin round pieces and fried.
Source: Potato Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.
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