10 Juicy Facts about Fruit and Vegetables
Date: 08 Oct 2020
One of our main challenges as parents can be encouraging our children to eat more fruit and vegetables. Getting them to eat a healthy and balanced diet in order for them to thrive and grow into healthy individuals can be hard work – what parent hasn’t encountered a little one’s scrunched face at the sight of some pureed vegetables ‘choo choo-ing’ towards them!
Whilst the taste of broccoli and tomatoes might not be favourites at first, there are some pretty quirky things to know about fruit and veg, which might make them a little more interesting - like how many seeds a pomegranate has, do carrots really help us see in the dark, and which vegetable was the first to grow in space…
Here are our top ten juicy facts to wow and astound your little ones!
- Bananas are berries, but strawberries aren't.
Berries, by definition, have their seeds on the inside, whilst you can see just by looking at a strawberry that they hold their seeds on the outside. However, the seeds in a banana are so tiny we don’t really notice they are there, but they are – putting them firmly in the ‘berry’ family!
- A true berry is a fleshy fruit formed from the ovary of a single flower, with a seed or seeds embedded on the inside of the flesh. So botanically speaking, strawberries don’t meet the definition of a berry, but bananas do!
- These are a few other surprising berries: grapes, avocados, kiwis, currants, tomatoes, cucumbers, aubergines and pomegranates.
- A pomegranate can hold up to 1400 seeds.
An average sized pomegranate can contain anywhere between 200 to 1400 seeds! There’s a counting challenge!
- Cranberries can bounce.
When they are ripe, they bounce! Try giving it a go yourself…
- A pumpkin is a fruit.
Many of us will have known that a tomato is a fruit, (it’s true!) but pumpkins are too!
- From a botanist's perspective, it is classed as a fruit because it's a product of the seed-bearing structure of flowering plants.
- Vegetables on the other hand, are the edible portion of plants such as leaves, stems, roots, bulbs, flowers, and tubers.
- And if that isn’t mind blowing enough, these are a few more fruits you may have thought of as vegetables: bell peppers, cucumbers, avocados, olives, squash and green beans!
- Potatoes were the first vegetable to be grown in space.
In October 1995, NASA and the University of Wisconsin-Madison collaborated to help grow the first veggie in space - a potato!
- Not all oranges are orange.
Oranges are a subtropical, not tropical fruit and so the colour of an orange depends on where it grows. In subtropical regions, the temperature isn’t cold enough for the skin to turn orange. This means the orange could stay green or yellow, even when it’s ripe!
- Figs match milk in calcium
If you’re not keen on milk but would like more calcium in your diet, it may interest you to find out that a cup of dried figs has as much calcium as the same amount of milk.
- Kiwis contain more vitamin C than oranges.
This fuzzy fruit packs the biggest nutritional punch of any fruit in your produce aisle -hence often being put in the super-food camp. They have twice the vitamin C of an orange, and they’re another high-potassium, low-salt alternative to bananas. They’re packed with other vitamins, minerals, and heart-healthy nutrients, too.
- Do carrots really help us to see in the dark?
Not really, no. According to www.wikipedia.org “The belief that eating carrots improves night vision is a myth put forward by the British in World War II to mislead the enemy about their military capabilities.” To prevent Germany finding out that Britain was using radar to intercept bombers on night raids, they issued press releases stating that British pilots were eating lots of carrots to give them exceptional night vision!
- Durian is the smelliest fruit in the world
The fruit grows on the Durio tree and grows in Malaysia, Indonesia and Thailand. Apparently it smells of rotten eggs, sweaty socks or even garbage. Doesn’t sound particularly appealing does it? Think we’ll stick to strawberries (even if they aren’t berries!)
Keeping everyone safe
Some fruit and veggies can be pretty small so be sure to keep a close eye on your little ones, especially if they’re bouncing cranberries or counting pomegranate seeds!
Want to Find out More?
There are significant health benefits to getting at least five portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day. Find out 5 reasons for eating 5 a day.
Make fruit and veggies fun with these easy-to-prepare snack ideas.
We may not like our children playing with their food but these are a few ideas to get your little ones interested and learning about veg. Playing veg related games and learning about the importance of eating veg in a fun way, can achieve incredible physical and mental health benefits.