There’s nothing better than the taste of fresh, sweet, succulent strawberries—the quintessential summer time fruit that most kids love.
In fact, 94 percent of U.S. households eat strawberries—nearly 5 pounds a year!
And 53 percent of young kids say strawberries are their favorite type of fruit.
The spring and summer months are prime time for picking strawberries, which is not only fun to do with your kids, but it can put an end to picky eating.
When it comes to choosing strawberries, organic is best since the Environmental Working Group (EWG)’s ranks them #1 on their Dirty Dozen list of fruits and vegetables highest in pesticides.
If organic isn’t within your budget however, the benefits of eating conventionally grown strawberries still outweigh the risks.
Here are 5 reasons strawberries are healthy for kids.
1. Strawberries are loaded with nutrition
Strawberries are one of the best superfoods you can feed your kids.
One cup of strawberries have nearly 150 percent of the daily value of vitamin C.
Strawberries are high in fiber and manganese, and a good source of potassium, calcium and magnesium.
Strawberries are also rich in antioxidants that have been shown to ward off certain types of cancer.
Studies show eating strawberries may reduce the risk for cardiovascular disease, stroke and hypertension.
2. Strawberries can prevent and treat constipation
Constipation is a common problems for kids. In fact, nearly 5 percent of pediatrician visits are because of constipation, according to a report in the Journal of Pediatric Health Care.
With 3 grams of fiber in every cup and a high water content, eating strawberries can help prevent constipation and get things moving again.
3. Strawberries might prevent type-2 diabetes
Rates of type-2 diabetes are on the rise in kids— a result in part, due to childhood obesity and diets high in processed foods.
Between 2008 and 2009, more than 5,000 kids were diagnosed with type-2 diabetes. Plus, and April 2017 study published in the New England Journal of Medicine showed the rate of newly diagnosed cases of type-2 diabetes in children between ages 10 and 19 increased by 4.8 percent.
Although kids should eat a wide variety of fruits to get the most nutrition, strawberries are healthy for kids because they have a low glycemic load—a measurement of a food’s impact on blood sugar.
In fact, a small study published in February 2016 in the journal Molecular Nutrition and Food Research found eating strawberries may improve insulin resistance and prevent type-2 diabetes.
4. Strawberries support healthy eyes
Strawberries are one of the best foods to support kids’ eye health.
Vitamin C is necessary for proper eye function and their antioxidants may prevent cataracts and age-related macular degeneration.
These are not concerns when kids are young of course, but teaching kids healthy eating habits now will set the stage for healthy eating in the future.
5. Strawberries encourage healthy eating
Kids love their sweets but before you dish out candy, cake or cookies, try serving strawberries.
Strawberries can satisfy a sweet tooth and make for a healthy, delicious swap for a high-sugar dessert, even if your kids refuse to eat dinner.
What’s more, if you can add strawberries to the list of foods your kid will eat, he may be more likely to try and love other new fruits too.