In the era we live in, junk food rules over healthy food. But, this must change if you want to improve your kids' health and well-being. Also, while we can't control the outside heat due to global warming, we can still find ways for children to beat the heat through a healthy diet, including the best summer fruits and vegetables.
Most kids are fussy eaters, so ensuring that they get their daily intake of minerals, vitamins and nutrients from food is essential. Thus, here is a list of summer fruits and vegetables to boost your child's immune system and keep them well-hydrated.
A. List of Summer Fruits For Kids
Watermelons are a summer blessing. This big, red and juicy fruit is one of the best fruits for kids on a hot and humid day. Not only are they healthy, but also a great source of water and vitamin A and C. Vitamin A is good for the eye, while vitamin C boosts immunity. Watermelon contains potassium, which prevents muscle cramps. It also contains electrolytes that help keep their body naturally cool.
Summertime happiness is sitting in a circle at home with your kids and munching on a juicy mango. The list of summer season fruits is incomplete without mangoes - the king of the fruits and an all-time favourite among kids. They are abundant in fibres and has as many as 20 minerals and vitamins. This sweet and mouthwatering fruit provides a rich water content and, in turn, keeps your child well-hydrated. It also contains Vitamin C, which helps the body fight bacteria and improves vision.
Did you know that chikoos are great for the bones? That’s right! This fleshy brown skin with grainy sweetness on the inside is a great fruit for toddlers. Chikoos contain natural fructose and sucrose content that provides tons of energy. So before sending them out to play in the sun, give them a chikoo to boost energy.
Berries are a great addition to your kids' diet this summer. Be it strawberries, raspberries or blueberries - they are loaded with flavonoids that provide antioxidant benefits. Children love eating desserts, and summer is a great time for ice cream, yoghurt, and sweets like cake or crepes. Use berries to make your own variations of these food items. If you have extra, make berry jam for a yummy breakfast meal.
As the summer approaches, you can see many stalls selling juicy green and purple grapes. Not only are grapes one of the best fruits for children, but also a great summer season fruit as they increase the water absorption by the body.
B. List of Summer Vegetables For Kids
1. Green leafy vegetables
Green leafy veggies may not be your child's favourite vegetable, but they are favourable vegetables for the summer. They have high-water content, abundant folate and are light on the stomach. Don't worry if your child is a fussy eater. You can serve these leafy veggies in various ways, such as soups, salads, juices, parathas and so on. The darker they are, the better, as they have high contents of iron and calcium.
2. Peppers and Sweet Corn
Peppers and corn make it to the summer season vegetable list because they are cooling and have many health benefits. Peppers include green, red and yellow capsicum. These are used in almost every dish across all regional cuisines.
Corn, on the other hand, can be less daunting than greens. This makes it one of the most loved vegetables that surprisingly even picky eaters like. There are many ways to add corn to your kid’s diet - grilled it, air-pop it (popcorn) or steam it and add it to rice.
A staple summer vegetable popular worldwide is carrots - a root vegetable. Carrots are grown all year round and are perfect for budget meals. It can be consumed raw, roasted, stir-fried or even as juice. Rich in vitamins, antioxidants and nutrients, this tasty vegetable is helpful when you want something light on hot and humid days.
A cooling vegetable with high water content, cucumber is an excellent snack for kids during summer. You can either cut it into coins or spears, eat it plain or dipped in hummus. To add some extra crunch, you can even leave the skin. It contains fibre and can be beneficial for your little one.
5. Sweet Potatoes and Peas
Sweet potatoes are loaded with vitamin A. Consuming a single sweet potato a day gives you 400% of the vitamin A your body requires. Vitamin A is good for the eyes and the immune system - the body's defence against germs.
Peas are kid-friendly vegetables. It is a versatile vegetable that can be steamed and added to rice, macaroni & cheese or any other dishes.
This list of healthy summer fruits and vegetables contains must-have food items that should be incorporated into your children’s diet. Kids need tons of nutrients while growing up for their overall physical development and emotional well-being. As such, to make sure they have healthy meals, opt for natural foods like fruits and vegetables. This will also help limit processed foods and sugary drinks.