As the weather gets colder, we see fewer of those delicious summer produce options – but luckily, we are treated to more of the wonderful bounty that comes in fall and winter. Fall fruits and vegetables are incredibly versatile and often favorites among children. It’s important to ensure your children are eating a variety of fruits and vegetables no matter what their age, since fruits and vegetables are incredible sources of vitamins, minerals and phytochemicals. Consider these three seasonal options for your family:
Beets are a root vegetable, like carrots or potatoes, and come in several different varieties and colors. The ones you may be most familiar with are the bright reddish/purple variety. You can eat beets raw or cooked, and they are very nutritious either way. Beets are a great source of dietary fiber which supports digestive health, as well as folate which is important for healthy pregnancies. When the kids are begging for those potato chips, switch up snack time with this baked beet chip recipe.
Though apple picking season has come to a close here in the greater Boston area, apples are still widely available at the grocery store. Often overlooked because they’re so commonplace, apples definitely deserve a spot in your fruit bowl. One medium apple counts as one cup of fruit, helping get your kids get on their way towards meet the daily recommendations (about 2 cups of fruit per day for a 2000 calorie diet). They’re a convenient snack option, and kids may love dipping them in peanut butter or yogurt.
Butternut squash is inexpensive and sweeter than many other vegetables. One cup of cooked cubed squash provides more than a day’s worth of your Vitamin A needs for eye health, along with lots of Vitamin C to support immune health. It’s also a good source of Vitamin E, magnesium, and potassium. If your children are resistant to trying a basic roasted or mashed butternut squash side dish, you can try pureeing the butternut squash and mixing it into macaroni and cheese. It makes it taste delicious and adds a boost of nutrition.