As children, we all heard our parents say many times to eat our fruit and vegetables. In addition, as parents most of us have repeated this mantra with our children. We all know our children need to eat many servings of fruits and vegetables daily. However many of us do not know why certain ones are recommended, and how they are good for us. Here are a few of the best choices of healthy, fruits and vegetables our children should be eating. Along with some information on the benefits, they provide for our kids.
1) Apples – The old saying an apple a day helps keep the doctor away is widely known. Apples have the potential to help our children live healthier lives as they get older. The fiber you get from apples, called pectin, binds itself to cholesterol so that it cannot move through your arteries. Studies have shown they also reduce the chances of cancer, diabetes and asthma. You can mix it up some, give your children apple juice and applesauce; they will still reap the benefits.
2) Oranges – One of the most loved fruits by children this citrus fruit is packed with healthy vitamins. They are loaded with vitamin C; essential in helping the body absorbs iron. Absorbing iron is important to keep from developing anemia. The orange peel is also full of vitamin A, which is a natural anti-oxidant and can help boost the immune system. This will help your children fight off infections like the flu or a cold.
3) Tomato – Many people do not realize that tomato’s are actually a fruit not a vegetable. They are full of lycopene; this is something our bodies cannot produce on their own so eating a tomato is a perfect way to get the benefits. Lycopene is shown to protect from getting certain types of cancer, and heart disease. Your children do not have to munch on a raw tomato. The lycopene is found in the inside the tomato wall, so when you cook tomatoes it releases it. They can get health benefits from drinking tomato juice, and from most children’s favorite food pizza with tomato sauce.
1) Corn – Fresh corn, like corn on the cob contains folic acid and vitamin B. Folic acid will help our children as they grow older, it helps prevent heart disease and strokes. Vitamin B is one of the most essential vitamins for the human body. It is needed for the production of energy, helping the body to grow properly, to maintain a healthy nervous system and to have a healthy brain. It should be easy to get your children to eat corn, most kids love corn on the cob.
2) Sweet Potatoes – This is one of the most nutritionally rich of the vegetables on the list your children should be eating. Unfortunately it is mostly thought of only around the holidays. This vegetable is perfect for your kids; it is naturally sweet, and can be used in many different recipes. They are high in vitamin A, C, iron and calcium. Some of the benefits from eating them are healthy skin, teeth, bones, eyes and a healthy heart.
3) Broccoli – The last vegetable on my list of foods you should encourage your children to eat is full of vitamins. Broccoli contains vitamin C, it helps with the absorption of iron, to boost the immune system and help heal wounds. To get your kids to eat broccoli you may have to be creative. I suggest raw broccoli and have them dip it into ranch dressing. My daughter’s favorite ways to eat it is cooked, and covered with melted cheese sauce.
This list of fruits and vegetables is just a small one of the many beneficial foods for your children to eat. Some tips to get your children to eat healthy foods are to take them to the grocery store with you to pick out new foods. You can also buy some fun, family-friendly cookbooks and pick out new recipes to try together. If you get your children involved and excited in the choosing of their foods they will begin to love eating all kinds of healthy fruits and vegetables. These good eating habits will be ones that will benefit them throughout their live.