Brighten up your garden and your dinner plate with these easy-to-grow, edible flowers. Kids love the idea of being able to eat flowers. Packed with antioxidants and vitamins, edible blooms can add color to meals and make a healthful salad more appealing to keiki.

Here are five varieties that can be grown in pots or in the ground from seeds or inexpensive starters sold at garden stores. After a thorough rinsing, eat them raw or cooked as directed.

Nasturtiums

One of the easiest edible flowers to grow, nasturtiums come in vibrant colors of yellow, orange and red. They taste like a cross between watercress and arugula. Nasturtiums are rich in vitamin C and are a wonderful addition to salads, pastas and open-faced sandwiches.

Begonias

With a bright citrus taste and a hint of sour, begonia blossoms are a favorite snack on their own when eaten fresh from the garden. The bright pink flowers are a gorgeous addition to any garden and can be easily propagated with cuttings.

Lavender

There are many ways to use lavender flowers, both in sweet and savory dishes. Children can help make delicious lavender sugar or honey by simply steeping in two full lavender sprigs overnight.

Sunflowers

Sunflowers are easy to grow and there are so many fun varieties to choose from. Typically grown for their seeds as well as their beautiful blooms, the flowers themselves are actually edible. Carefully separate the petals and sprinkle them into salads or stir-fries for a mild, nutty taste. For a special treat, harvest unopened buds and steam until tender. Meaty and filling, they taste like artichoke!

Squash Blossoms

Flowers of all squash and zucchini varieties are edible, and have a faint squashy flavor. A popular and tasty way to enjoy them is to fry in a tempura batter.

Learn more about growing and eating edible flowers during The Maui Farm’s free monthly farm tour on the second Saturday of each month. For reservations and more information, contact Ihilani at 579-8271 or ihilani@themauifarm.org. Happy gardening!