As a mother of a 3-year-old growing child, I am constantly thinking of ways to increase the intake of fruits and vegetables in my daughter’s diet. And like me, at some point in time, you might have also wondered, why is there so much fuss about fruits and vegetables?
During these early years, it is very critical that a child receives essential nutrients and vitamins to meet their growing needs, both physical and mental. Also, there are essential micronutrients like Iron, Vitamin A and Vitamin C that their body needs. And wouldn’t it be great to know, what nutrients and vitamins do some of these fruits and veggies offer us? I am listing the ones that my daughter likes and the ones that cover essential micronutrients.
This is something that my daughter loves to eat even in its raw form. There are times when I cut long pieces of carrots for her and give it to her like a snack. I also boil carrot and saute it in some butter, salt and herbs and it becomes a very tasty snack with some sauce or a dip.
Let’s get into some details of what wonders carrots can do for our children. Have you ever thought about why carrot is bright orange? That’s because it is high on beta-carotene, an antioxidant that gets converted into Vitamin A in the body. And what does vitamin A do? It promotes good vision and is important for growth, development and immune function.
The other vitamins present in carrots are Vitamin K1 and Vitamin B6. Vitamin K is important for blood coagulation and can promote bone health. Vitamin B6 is involved with conversion of food into energy.
What I also like about carrot is that it is available all throughout the year.
Apple – Crunchy and Sweet!!
I offer apples to my daughter, most of the times in its raw form. When I was weaning her, I used to offer her steamed apples too, but that was long back and for a limited duration of time. I also make it a point to peel the skin of the apple before offering. Producers sometimes, do use a thin coating of wax to make the apples look shiny and appealing to buyers. You can check the presence of wax, by scraping the skin of the apple with a knife.
Apples are a good source of Vitamin C, which is also called ascorbic acid, a common antioxidant in fruits. It is an essential dietary nutrient that has many important functions in the body. The main mineral in apples is Potassium and is beneficial for heart health.
This is not a fruit that she took to easily. It might have been because it is squishy or sour. Now at 3, she loves it, also because she can play with it while eating, especially squeezing it and getting fascinated with the juice.
Oranges are a good source of several vitamins and minerals, especially vitamin C, thiamin, folate and potassium. Vitamin C is not only good for her skin but can also help build or strengthen her immunity.
In South India, beetroot is generally prepared as “poriyal” and that is how I offer it to her. Poriyal is to saute boiled vegetables in oil and spices. For her, I don’t add chilli though.
Packed with essential nutrients, beetroots are a great source of fibre, folate (vitamin B9), manganese, potassium, iron and vitamin C. Folate B9 is important for normal tissue growth and cell function. Iron is an essential mineral, which has many important functions in the body. It is necessary for the transport of oxygen in red blood cells thus helping to support an active mind and body.
So, now you have a good idea of essential micronutrients and the sources of these. There are times when it is difficult to get these in their natural form and sometimes it can be very time consuming to prepare them and have your child enjoy the fruits and veggies. Tropicana’s range of essential juice is an effort to provides these nutrients without much hassle.
Tropicana essentials contain the goodness of apples, carrots, beetroots, oranges and much more. They are high in Iron, vitamin A and C and will provide your child with 15% RDA (Recommended dietary allowance) in just one serving. 200 ml of Tropicana essentials iron juice is equivalent to 100g pineapple, and banana. And these juices have added nutrients in them like iron, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C. 1 serving (200 ml) of Tropicana Essentials IRON provides 15% RDA of Iron. That is, consuming 1 serve of this juice would satisfy 15% of the estimated daily iron requirement, considered necessary for the maintenance of good health by the Food and Nutrition Board of the National Research Council/ National Academy of Sciences. Or you may even consider taking 1 serve of this juice as equivalent to consuming 100g of lettuce, or 100g of mustard leaves or 100g of spinach. Being rich in Iron, Tropicana Essentials IRON helps in keeping the body and mind active.
Tropicana Essentials FRUIT & VEGGIES is made from concentrated fruit juice from apple, carrots, and beetroot, and are fortified with added nutrients. This juice is a rich source of Vitamin A and Vitamin C. It is recommended to consume 5 servings of fruit and veggies per day. Whereas the average intake is only 3.5, creating an average deficiency of 1.5. But 1 serving (200 ml) of Tropicana Essentials FRUIT & VEGGIES is equal to consuming 1 serving of the recommended fruit and veggies intake per day.
But please note that these juices should not be used as a replacement for fruits and veggies, but more of an add-on. This will ensure that you don’t have to worry about the nutritional needs of your child on days when a fruit or veggie is rejected by your child.