Growing up in the Czech Republic and here in the States we didn’t have a cookie jar, we had fruit bowls. Fruit was our snack, everyday. My mom would always have a variety of fruit on hand and when we wanted something sweet, we would either take a bite of an apple or pear, peel a banana and make silly monkeys noises, hang some cherries over our ears as earrings, take in that fresh sweet aroma and also enjoy the mess of peeling an orange, or for those summer treats, enjoy a bowl of fresh strawberries! No cookie can do that!
There is so much controversy and concern about childhood obesity, but we have to remember, children eat what we give them. They don’t go grocery shopping! So if you start them off with the proper nutritional foods, that’s what they will eat. Now, enjoying a cookie on occasion is fun too, but not on a daily basis. Just remember, moderation, and quite a bit of it.
I say the best way to get your children to enjoy more of the “good stuff” is to include them in the preparation. Have them wash the fruit, depending on their age, help you cut or peel it, make it fun. And even for us big kids, if you were not brought up eating fruit, start with what is in season and appeals to your eyes. Because as I always say, we first eat with our eyes, then our nose and last our mouths.
Just in case you needed a reason to eat this beautiful, red fruit, here are some healthy facts about strawberries:
- Strawberries are low fat, low in calorie, rich in fiber, folic acid and potassium, and they are the highest fruit source of vitamin C.
- Strawberries are rich in nitrate, which can increase the flow of blood & oxygen to the muscles by 7%. This prevents muscle fatigue, making exercise easier.
- Strawberries have powerful antioxidant properties, they ranked 4th in terms of fruits that are rich in antioxidant.
- Strawberries help combat cancers, they protect your heart, boost your memory (Hence, a great afternoon snack) and help calm us
So, I hope this gave some encouragement to try some strawberries. This summer, try to find a farm where you can go strawberry picking, it’s the most fun! Enjoy!