Jica what? Jicama!

The Fruit and Veggie On-The-Move Truck tried something different this week that was a little out of the ordinary for your normal vegetable!

This past week I served to the park kids sugar plums, grape tomatoes, baby carrots, and jicama (pronounced hic-a-ma.) Now, you probably just read that and asked yourself, “what’s a jicama?” Don’t worry because you were not the only one who questioned what a jicama was! Jicama (also called yambean) is a Mexican root vegetable that is closely related to the potato family. When all the kids saw the french fry style cut vegetable in their cups this week they all thought it was either a cheese stick or an apple slice. I had a few kids asked me if it gave them the hiccups, sorry kids but not this vegetable. The way I described this out of the ordinary vegetable was by telling the kids that it is “like a potato but taste like a less flavored apple.” There were a lot of mix reviews about the jicama, which most of the kids have never heard about, but overall kids enjoyed the refreshing taste. The other interesting item I served this week were sugar plums, and no I am not talking about the ones that dance in your head during Christmas time. These sugar plums are a fruit that are oval shape and are very very very sweet version of a normal plum. Kids went crazy over the sugar plums because they tasted like candy. This past week was a week of trying new things and I get really happy when I see kids tasting new healthy fruits and veggies and wanting more of them too!

Purple sugar plums, red grape tomatoes, orange carrots, and white jicama make for a great color scheme in the cups!

Purple sugar plums, red grape tomatoes, orange carrots, and white jicama make for a great color scheme in the cups!

A very appetizing mix of fruits and veggies!

A very appetizing mix of fruits and veggies!

Jicama is the super food of the week!!!! 

This white and starchy vegetable contains a lot of fiber that is perfect for a daily serving. This vegetable just doesn’t contain any old type of fiber though, jicama’s fiber is infused with oligofructose inulin, which has zero calories and doesn’t metabolize in the body. Jicama also contains inulin, a prebiotic, that helps allow for good bacteria growth in the intestine providing for better immunity and possibly helping against colon cancer. This Mexican root vegetable is also great for diabetics because of its very low-glycemic index. Also, if you are looking to shred a few pounds jicama is very low calorie! Lastly, jicama contains an amazing source of vitamin C, about 44% of your daily value serving. To enjoy jicama, add it to a balsamic based salad to soak up the dressing or simply just sprinkle lime juice over it and enjoy as a light snack.

Jica what? Jicama! Yummm, cut up Jicama from Wegmans!

Jica what? Jicama! Yummm, cut up Jicama from Wegmans!

Call George Washington to cut down a cherry tree!

Though it was very hot and humid this past week, the Fruit and Veggie On-The-Move Truck kept rolling to deliver some healthy and refreshing snacks for the park program kids!

This past week had to have been the most successful picks of fruit and vegetables for the kids. I served cherries, baby carrots, and snap peas to the children, who all went crazy over those delicious treats. The kids, whose eyes popped wide open when they saw the big bowl of cherries I had in my truck, wanted seconds and even thirds of their weekly snack. I was really happy when I saw kids eating snap peas, a vegetable most of them did not know existed, and enjoying them as well! I love to see kids trying new healthy foods every day and enjoying them because every little step they take they are improving on their overall health!

Cherries from Elias Farmers Market, and  snap peas and baby carrots from Wegmans.

Cherries from Elias Farmers Market, and snap peas and baby carrots from Wegmans.

One delicious cup coming right up!!

One delicious cup coming right up!!

Cherries: The superfood of the week!!!!! 

Finally, it is summertime and cherries are in season and tasting great! This powerfully packed fruit is filled with nutrients that help improve your overall health. Loaded with many antioxidants, cherries help ease pain, lower cholesterol, fight memory loss, reduce stress, aid with weight loss, and even help prevent heart disease. This tasty fruit with a pit inside can also help you sleep better because they contain high levels of melatonin, the bodies natural sleep aid. Cherries also have a lot of fiber! For cancer prevention, these little red fruits contain queritrin, an anticancer agent, and ellagic acid. This fruit can be enjoyed raw, cooked, frozen, or dried for added flavor in any type of meal. So call up your George Washington friend today and have him cut down a cherry tree for a sweet and healthy treat!

But did little George Washington really cut down a cherry tree?

But did little George Washington really cut down a cherry tree?

More grapes please!

Another week has come to an end again for Allentown’s Fruit and Veggie On-The-Move Truck and I have never seen so many kids excited to eat some fresh red grapes!

This week we served red grapes, forelle pears, summer green squash, and summer yellow squash. The kids were more than excited to see a big bowl of red grapes in my trunk this time and they kept coming back for more fruits! I love to see the enthusiasm in the kids when I hand them their fruit and veggie cups and it makes me happy to see them enjoying their weekly healthy treat. This week after an ice cream truck passed by the park, we asked the kids what they liked more, the ice cream truck or the fruit and veggie truck? One younger boy replied, “the fruit and veggie truck!” Without even asking why the young boy liked our truck more the kid then said, “i like it because it’s healthier.” Hearing that truly made me happy because I know I am doing something that these kids benefit from and also enjoy.

Ready to serve for the kids!

Ready to serve for the kids!

Fresh pears, grapes, and summer squash!!

Fresh pears, grapes, and summer squash!!

The superfood of the week are grapes!

Grapes are a great summertime fruit to enjoy and they contain an amazing amount of vitamins, for example vitamins A, C, and B6. They also contain a great source of antioxidants and folate. Though these tasty fruits can help prevent heart disease, people with blood sugar problems can only limit themselves to a few grapes because of their high amounts of natural sugar. Enjoy them in green, red, and purple, grapes are great to put in any breakfast, lunch, dinner, or dessert entree for added taste and color. Try them in a salad or on top of a piece of chicken or salmon today!

Grapes contain a great source of antioxidants!

Grapes contain a great source of antioxidants!

 

 

A lot of sweet for one week!

A new approach was taken this week for the Fruits and Veggies On-The-Move Truck and let me tell you how “sweet” it was!

This week I delivered peaches, blueberries, sugar snap peas, and colored bell peppers. Even though I delivered the usual two fruits and two vegetables, everything that was given was sweet tasting. I thought that this was a good idea because the kids always want something sweet to eat. The assorted colored bell peppers were the hardest things for kids to eat this week especially because they thought they were hot but, as usual once they tried the veggie they wanted more! I continue to anticipate how the kids will react each time I give them their special fruit and veggie cup for the week.

The Fruit and Veggie On-The-Move Truck is fully loaded and ready to serve!!

The Fruit and Veggie On-The-Move Truck is fully loaded and ready to serve!!

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Peaches, blueberries, sugar snap peas, and colored peppers OH MY YUMMY!

Colored Bell Peppers are the Super Food of the Week! 

Assorted bell peppers do not just add color to your meal but, they add a lot of macro nutrients of fiber and protein to help you feel fuller longer! Colored peppers contain a lot of vitamins and antioxidants as well that can help reduce heart disease, some cancers, and cataracts. These sweet-tasting veggies can also help alleviate symptoms of asthma and arthritis. Also, these veggies contain minerals such as magnesium and phosphorus which are used for bones, muscle, and nerve function. Add these pretty little veggies into a salad or with grilled chicken for some homemade fajitas that will please everyone and their bodies!

Those aren’t oranges!

Another week has come to an end for the fruit and veggie on-the-move truck! This past week gave us a few challenges with the rain but, we had more challenges explaining to the camp kids that apricots were not oranges.

For this past week we gave the kids: plums, apricots, cucumbers, and grape tomatoes. As usual, they loved getting their weekly dose of fresh fruits and veggies but, most of them thought the apricots were oranges! After explaining to the kids that the fruits we were giving them were apricots they all tasted them and fell in love. Finally, after handing out all the cups, kids were coming back to the truck asking for more yummy apricots.

Plums, apricots, grape tomatoes, and cucumbers for week 2!

Plums, apricots, grape tomatoes, and cucumbers for week 2!

The super food for this week are apricots!

These delicious summertime fruits are packed with vitamin A and C. Apricots are also filled with nutrients that can help protect the heart and eyes. The high amount of fiber in this fuzzy orange fruit can also help fight certain diseases.  Apricots also contain tryptophan and potassium. This May through August fruit  is not just a summertime treat though. In the winter buy some dried apricots which can still give you the same amount of benefits as eating them fresh and whole. So hurry up and grab some fresh apricots today from your local farmers market before August comes around !

Try some fresh and fiber filled apricots today!

Try some fresh and fiber filled apricots today!