Berry Me This Summer
Give your kids a delicious and healthy snack
Summertime, for most, brings back memories of baskets and bushels of fresh, juicy and delicious fruit. It’s the time for fun-filled days of freedom (from school) and lazy nights of games and ghost stories. For us, being on our grandparents’ farms has given us a great appreciation for freshly grown fruit, especially berries. Berries are great phytonutrients (compounds in plants that have a beneficial effect on the body. They have the effect of antioxidants, boosting the immune system, anti-inflammatory, anti-viral, anti-bacterial and cellular repair).
Many berries are considered the healthiest food on the planet because they contain vitamins, fiber, cardiovascular- and cancer-fighting compounds. Did you know that grapes are botanically classified as a berry? Some of our favorites are: blueberries (best known for their high levels of antioxidants), boysenberries (a cross between a raspberry, loganberry and a blackberry), blackberries, raspberries and strawberries (we recommend buying them organically grown rather than conventionally grown, which can have a high level of pesticides) and our new favorite, persimmon.
The greatest thing that we can say about berries is that they are great for everything all by themselves. Because they are naturally sweet, you don’t need to add sugar, sweeteners or whipped cream for them to be a delicious snack. Use them fresh, straight from your local farmers market to add color and sweetness to your favorite salad. When frozen, they are great for beverages, smoothies or desserts. Turn the ordinary into a festive masterpiece of color and natural sweetness. Try making that plain yogurt into a beautiful parfait, brighten up one of your favorite desserts or snacks with a burst of color and flavor or use them to sweeten your refreshing iced tea or lemonade.
Please note: Pediatricians do not recommended the introduction berries to a child younger than 6 months of age for the following reasons:
-Choking hazard (berries are slippery and can down the throat easily to cause a clogged passage way).
-Digestive issues with the seeds, especially strawberries. If you see seeds in your child’s stool consult your pediatrician.
-Allergy (although most children are not allergic to fruit, berries are special because they contain acid that may cause your child to break out in a rash.)
Our pediatrician recommends that you try one type of berry at a time over a three-month period before introducing another.
Photos by: Brian Brown Photography