12 new foods (or “fruitchitables”) to try with your kids in 2014

What’s a fruitchitable? It’s a term one of my little munch bugs invented to describe a fruit or a vegetable that’s new to their taste buds. The new year is the perfect time to plan to experience a new fruitchitable each month, especially as fresh fruits and veggies come into season. Plan to grow a unique vegetable together, buy fresh produce at the farmers’ market or search for a new-fangled fruit at your neighborhood grocery store.

Here are a few ideas on WHEN it’s in season, WHAT to try and fun facts on WHY you should try it, plus a surprising tip on HOW to serve it:

grapefruit

1

When: January
What: Grapefruit
Why: You can get HALF your daily Vitamin C in HALF of a grapefruit!
How: Grapefruit Brulee!

cauliflower

2

When: February
What: Cauliflower
Why: A gazillion reasons, but has loads of Vitamin B6 – essential for healthy skin. It’s the largest organ in your body, so take care of it! How: Rice it!

Kohlrabi

3

When: March
What: Kohlrabi
Why: Loaded with glucosinolates. Made you click on that word, didn’t I?
How: Pirate Coins! (Ay Matey, that be Kohlrabi Medallions!)
Photo by Barbara Wells

047

4

When: April
What: Asparagus
Why: Loaded with the “forgotten vitamin” aka Vitamin K, which is necessary for building strong bones. Plus, it makes your pee smell funny and that will get any kid to eat it. How: Twigs in a Blanket

rhubarb

5

When: May
What: Rhubarb
Why: Because you thought calcium only came from cows.
How: Perfect to boost the nutrition of a sweet treat, like this one.

apricot

6

When: June
What: Apricots
Why: Can you read this: Protects against vision loss.
How: Bite into it fresh or make something fancy!

blackberries

7

When: July
What: Berries of all colors!
Why: Rich in antioxidants that help to prevent disease and nobody likes diseases, right? Right.
How: At least 2 cups of berries are in this recipe by Rachael Ray.com. Want a healthier alternative to refined sugar when baking? Try organic sundried juice crystals.

zucchini_basket

8

When: August
What: Zucchini and Corn (Why not try 2 together?)
Why: Power-packed duo of fiber and potassium!
How: Kids will love to create Rachel Ray's no-cook mixture of green and yellow on crunchy crostini! They can chop the zucchini themselves and toss in the corn. Just getting kids involved in the process is one of the first steps to trying mixed veggies.

purple-cabbage

9

When: September
What: Cabbage – try all the colors!
Why: Keeps the bacteria in your belly in check. According to this website, “their populations can become too large and they can latch onto the stomach lining in an undesirable way.” Ewwww.
How: Combine with other colorful veggies, using a peeler to make ribbons.

pomegranate

10

When: October
What: Pomegranates
Why: A nutritional knock-out of Vitamin C, antioxidants, fiber and potassium.
How: Before you decide what recipes appeal to your family, learn to open one using the “no mess method” and eat the arils one by one. For the biggest punch of nutrition, add unsweetened pomegranate juice to a smoothie.
Photo by inaquim

instagram-persimmons

11

When: November
What: Persimmons
Why: Rich in catechins – those “anti-infective, anti-inflammatory and anti-hemorrhagic” superheroes of the nutritional universe.
How: According to this article at Super Kids Nutrition.com, Persimmons “can be put into your child’s lunchbox unpeeled, and can be eaten sliced or whole like a pear.”
Photo by kikkomaam

Beets

12

When: December
What: Beets – all colors!
Why: You can’t beat a beet when it comes to nutrition. Plus, beets change the color of your pee. Yep, I had to mention another pee fact. Hey, if it gets your kid to try a new veggie, you can thank me later.
How: Assemble this colorful carrot and beet “slaw” garnished with pistachios and raisins.

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