Studies consistently show that kids are not getting the recommended amounts of fruits and vegetables. But, red, sweet, juicy strawberries are one fruit that you won't have any trouble getting your child to eat.
While apples and bananas often take the top two places - strawberries are among one of America's most loved fruits.
A cup of naturally sweet strawberries (about 8 to 12 medium berries) has only 50 calories, making them the perfect treat to satisfy your child's sweet tooth. And, strawberries for dessert pack a powerful nutrient punch that many traditional desserts lack.
Strawberries are an excellent source of vitamin C and a good source of dietary fiber. Just 1 cup contains around 180% of the recommended Daily Value of vitamin C for kids 13 years and younger. Kids need vitamin C for growth, body tissue repair, and a healthy immune system. One cup of sliced strawberries provides 3.3 grams of fiber, which aids in digestive health. Strawberries also contain antioxidants including anthocyanins. These compounds give strawberries their bright red color and may help reduce the risk of some chronic diseases.
Not only are strawberries delicious and nutritious, but they are the perfect size for little hands and are extremely versatile. Serve them cut up for younger children, packed to go for older kids and in a variety of recipes. For example, add them to salads, sandwiches with cheese or nut butter, salsa, smoothies, fruit kabobs, low-fat yogurt or ice cream.
When fresh strawberries aren't in season, choose frozen without added sugar. Try combining frozen strawberries and frozen chunks of banana in a food processor to whip up some refreshing “ice cream.”
Growing strawberries at home is a fun and educational family project. Or, head to your local pick-your-own berry farm to harvest strawberries straight from the plant. What could be better than watching your child enjoy a fresh, juicy, healthy strawberry? Just be sure to wash fresh berries before eating.
Try this easy Sparkling Strawberry Lemonade for a bubbly summer refresher.