There’s nothing quite like fruit picked at the height of its ripeness, which makes summer the best time to enjoy it. A perfect self-packaged snack for kids, fruit is a sweet but healthy substitute for more sugary, tooth-rotting snacks. It’s full of essential vitamins and minerals, antioxidants and fiber. Check out the nutritious power of these popular locally-grown fruits that every kid can enjoy.
Whether these thorn bush fruits are farm-grown or found wild in nature preserves or ill-weeded back lots, blackberries pack a lot of nutrition. They’re rich with fiber and high in vitamin C and antioxidants. They’re also a great source of vitamin K and manganese, both of which are vital for young growing bones.
Summer is berry season, so it’s no surprise that there’s more than one berry on this list of popular summer fruits. Blueberries contain a flavonoid called anthocyanin which has antioxidant effects on the body that keeps cells repaired and healthy. Blueberries also have lots of vitamin C as well as essential nutrients like potassium, calcium, and magnesium.
There’s nothing quite as sweet and delicious as a ripe, freshly picked peach. Along with lots of Vitamin C and several flavonoids, peaches also offer a periodic table of essential nutrients, including iron, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, manganese, copper, and zinc.
The dark skin of many fruits, like grapes and plums, often indicate the presence of certain antioxidants like polyphenol, which not only performs the function of keeping cells in repair but also helps in bone health and reducing inflammation. Plums have some of the highest levels of polyphenols among common fruits. A single plum also provides about one-fifth of your recommended daily intake of Vitamin K.
Sweet and juicy, watermelon is summer’s most iconic fruit. Yet though it contains mostly water, this fruit still packs a powerful nutrient punch. Along with the antioxidant lycopene, which gives watermelon its pink color, watermelon provides potassium, several amino acids, and lots of vitamin C.
Juicy cantaloupes are another healthy late-summer melon that kids love. Cantaloupes provide large amounts of beta-carotene, like you find in carrots, which is what gives this melon its distinct color. Its vitamin C content is off the charts: Only one cup of cantaloupe provides 100% of the recommended daily intake. As a bonus, cantaloupe provides folate, necessary for fetal development in pregnant women.
Some parents worry about their children eating too much fruit, thinking the sugar content might not be good for them, but you can put your mind to rest. Unlike sugary snacks, the sweetness in fruit won’t give your kids a sugar high, due to the high fiber content that slows down the release of energy into your child’s body. That same fiber will fill them up, too, keeping them satisfied for a long, hot afternoon at the pool.