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In the raw…

Getting your child to eat any kind of vegetable or fruit is a feat in and of itself, but there are times when it’s best to serve them raw versus cooked.  In some cases, when plant foods are heated, their available nutritional content can be altered, reduced, or eliminated altogether.  Vitamin C, common in many fruits and especially citrus fruits can be drastically reduced when cooking.  Tomatoes, for example, start to lose their vitamin C content after only about 2 minutes of cooking. Vitamin B1, which is mainly found in legumes like peas, is essentially destroyed when heat is added.  Enzymes are also compromised and destroyed when heated.  Mostly found in cruciferous vegetables like Brussel sprouts, kale, and mustard greens should be consumed raw if possible.

Now, how to actually get your kids to eat raw veggies can be another story, so here are some easy ideas how to beat the heat!

Juice it! Make a juice of raw veggies- baby spinach, apple, orange, and a dash of ginger make a great green juice! Baby spinach in particular has such a mild taste that when combined with the citrus will leave little to no flavor.

Make a shaved and chopped salad.  Thinly slice Brussel sprouts, and kale, and mix with sunflower seeds, pomegranate seeds, and a poppy seed dressing (recipe here!) and top with chicken.