When you’re a parent trying to teach your kids to choose healthy foods, any time you can get them to choose any kind of vegetable feels like a victory. Unfortunately, there are some vegetables out there that seem to get a bad rap based on their nutritional value. Here is a list of five vegetables that are commonly mischaracterized, but are actually good for kids:
Some parents avoid giving their kids carrots because they believe they contain too much sugar. However, there are plenty of good benefits for eating carrots, including high amounts of vitamin A for eyesight and immunity. Carrots are also a great source of vitamin C for boosting the immune system and fiber. It’s true that carrots do contain quite a bit of natural sugar. The good news is, the fiber found in carrots actually slows down the absorption of this sugar.
When it comes to vegetables, most of us are under the impression that the darker the better. While it’s true that darker vegetables do provide more nutrition than lighter vegetables, that doesn’t mean that we should totally write off vegetables like iceberg lettuce. Believe it or not, iceberg lettuce provides a significant portion of our daily requirement of vitamin K for keeping our blood and bones strong. It also contains vitamin A for eyesight and immunity. Plus, some parents find that it’s much easier to get their kids to eat iceberg lettuce in a salad – so keep serving it!
The truth is, most people immediately picture French Fries and carbs when they hear “potato.” But did you know that potatoes actually provide twice as much potassium as bananas? They are also an excellent source of vitamins B6 and C and fiber. It is true that potatoes have a high glycemic index, which means they can affect blood sugar. Kids and adults with blood sugar issues, diabetes or weight problems should probably limit their intake of potatoes. If you enjoy them in moderation and avoid frying them as much as possible, potatoes can actually provide some great vitamin and mineral benefits.
The main complaint some have against cucumbers is that they are mostly water and provide very little nutritional value. It’s true that cucumbers are about 95% water. This can actually be a great benefit when living in the deserts of Arizona. That water helps us stay hydrated when the high temperatures set in. Also, hidden in that other 5% of cucumbers is an excellent source of antioxidants, such as vitamin C and beta-carotene that help to fight cellular damage. Cucumbers also contain B vitamins, potassium and fiber.
This is another vegetable that parents sometimes avoid because they are under the impression that their high water content leaves no room for vitamins or minerals. Actually, celery can be an excellent source of vitamin K for blood health, folate for red blood cell production and vitamin A. And yes, celery does contain lots and lots of water, which makes it a great snack when you’re trying to keep your kids hydrated and healthy in the hot summer months.
We understand that many parents are very choosy when it comes to what they feed their kids and that they only want to give them the very best. Remember as a general rule, while some vegetables may pack a bigger punch when it comes to vitamins and minerals, almost any vegetable is going to be better for your kids than none at all.
AllKids Urgent Care believes that All Kids Deserve the Best! We are here to help keep kids healthy and active but are also during the times kids are sick or injured.
Click here for when to visit an pediatric urgent care and visit us at our Mesa Pediatric Urgent Care (Signal Butte and Southern) or our Gilbert Pediatric Urgent Care (Cooper and Baseline), every day from noon to 10 pm.