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Veggie of the Month: Carrots

Carrots are the quintessential, simple vegetable for kids on-the-go while apples are the classic, go-to fruit. Imagine combining the two together in one salad and you have a crowd favorite! When the sweet-sour flavors of the apple are paired with the sweet-heartiness of the carrots it makes for the perfect light and refreshing  dish: Carrot Apple Salad. The carrots play the leading role in the color profile of the salad and are what gives the recipe the added crunch and nutritious elements that are hard to beat!

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Are Carrots a Root Vegetable?

Carrots are root vegetables falling into the same family as parsnips and parsley and related to the common garden flower called “Queen Anne’s Lace”.

This root veggie has several uses as they can be mashed, grated, boiled, steamed, eaten raw (our favorite) or sometimes are even used to make jam, a popular treat in Portugal! Additionally, they are a nutrition powerhouse as they are good for our vision, teeth, and skin - primarily because of all of the Vitamin A in them. 2A65FF79-D9AA-48A1-A331-209E47ACADB5-603-000000E10455D5A7.jpegSo, if you’re ever feeling a little dull and in need of a healthy glow, grab a raw carrot or two (like the two in this picture for a quick fix)!

Thankfully, carrots are available year round at farmers markets in New York City and they come in a rainbow of colors to choose from. Interestingly enough, carrots were not always identified by their bright orange color. Their original classic color was yellow, white, and purple and In the 17th century, Dutch growers developed orange carrots as a tribute to William of Orange – who led the the country's struggle for independence. Anyway, don't be scared of rainbow carrots because they will give your salad a colorful and elevated appearance!

 

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Carrot Green Apple Mint Salad:This colorful Red Rabbit recipe is a delicious way to get your nutrients in by combining carrots with several other vegetables and fruits into one simple salad.

 

Resources for Parents and Teachers

1) Take Root! Need additional resources to introduce root vegetables? Check out our Root Veg Talking Points to get a refresher on the uses and benefits of carrots, sweet potatoes, parsnips, etc.

2) Play a Little! This Footprint Carrot makes for a fun spring craft idea. It's simple to make and a creative keepsake to look back on when the child is a bit older. 

  1. Paint, or have the child paint, his or her toes green as well as a little bit below the toes and it should be in an arch so the carrot's top is rounded. Paint the rest of the food with orange paint.
  2. Have the child place their foot on the paper to make the print. We can use the usual white paper or try out fun colored construction paper, like yellow! 
  3. When it dries, draw orange lines to represent indentations in a carrot.

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