Providing your children with fruits and vegetables doesn’t always require a trip to the farmers market or even the produce section in the grocery store. You can also consult the freezer!
We love fresh, seasonal produce, but frozen fruits and vegetables can be just as healthy. In fact, while fresh fruits and vegetables can lose some nutrients to heat and light, commercially frozen fruits and vegetables are processed at their peak ripeness, preserving their nutritional value. MyPlate recommends making half your plate fruits and vegetables and going frozen might make meeting this recommendation a little bit easier. Plus frozen fruits and vegetables are often pre-cut into bite-sized pieces, eliminating the need for you to prep if you are in a rush!
Why go frozen with FRUIT?
- When certain fruits are out of season, you can almost always find them frozen instead.
- They’ve already been pitted and, often, peeled—which makes using them a snap.
- Frozen fruits can be incorporated into kid-friendly smoothies or cold or hot cereals, used to top a waffle, or enjoyed plain!
Why go frozen with VEGETABLES?
- Frozen vegetables are a great and easy way to expand your children’s exposure to vegetables such as butternut squash and edamame, which can sometimes be difficult to find and prepare.
- They’re ready to add to pots of simmering soups and stews.
- You can buy frozen vegetables plain and then prepare them as you please, such as seasoning them with olive oil, salt, and pepper.
You’ve got time!
- Multiple exposures to fruits or vegetables are often needed before a child may accept it. With frozen fruits and vegetables, you can stock up and introduce your child to fruits and vegetables over time without worrying about them going bad in your refrigerator.
Alexa Essenfeld, Intern
Rutgers University, Department of Nutritional Sciences