Getting kids to eat healthy can sometimes be a challenge. I’m always trying to find easy, simple, healthy food for my kids to snack on. I especially like providing food that they can prepare themselves, or introduce a variety of food experience. Well,here is an easy superfood snack that kids can prepare, eat and enjoy!
Many Americans and Europeans love their go to fruit: apples and oranges. Well, move over “an apple a day.” Welcome, the Pomegranate a day! This antioxidant-rich superfood is not only full of antioxidants but can add valuable nutrition otherwise. Pomegranate literally translates to “seeded apple” but are healthier than apples. Some have actually even argued that it was pomegranates, not apples, growing in the Garden of Eden. Pomegranates have also been called “jewel of the winter.”
Time to prep: 1 minute
Time for kids to prepare: 10-20 minutes
Time for kids to eat: 15-20 minutes
Time for mom to clean kitchen or make a phone call while observing kids prepare and eat their snack: 30-40 minutes
Age of kids to begin preparing themselves with a little parental assistance: 20 months-2 yrs old
Age able to do it completely by themselves, adult only needs to cut the fruit in half and facilitate: 2 ½-3 yrs old
Now maybe most adults aren’t even sure how to prepare a pomegranate. I quickly learned that just cutting into one makes a huge mess staining all in its wake, including kitchen countertops. The seeds truly can stain. You may even want to smock your kids. Even if it gets a bit messy, it’s worth it, to get that healthy red seed eaten by your child and the enjoyment they can have doing it themselves. However, if you keep the pomegranate submerged in the water for cutting and taking the seeds out, then you won’t have a red mess!
How to Prepare and Eat a Pomegranate:
#1 Fill a large bowl up with water (you’ll need several bowls)
#2 Submerge one pomegranate into the water (keeping the fruit in the water, stops a red juice stain mess from happening)
#3 Take a sharp knife and cut the pomegranate in half, under the water
#4 For my children, I then cut the half into a quarter
#5 With peeling side up and seeds emerged in water, the children can easily roll the juice-filled seed sacs called “arils,” these are the jewels, out of the pomegranate and they will fall to the bottom of the bowl. If the fruit is kept in the water, it is super easy for kids to roll the seeds out and into the bowl without making a mess.
#6 After all, the arils are removed, dispose of the peeling on a plate or separate bowl
#7 Scoop up the seeds at the bottom of the bowl and place onto a plate or another bowl
#8 Some thin white membranes might still need to be removed from the seeds
You can see in my pictures and video that I have my boys removing seeds from the skin of the pomegranates then scooping the seeds out from the bottom of the bowl. They make sure there isn’t any more of the white skin/membrane holding onto the seed, discarding all peeling and white membranes on a separate plate or bowl. I then set out three bowls and they divide all the seeds into the three bowls for all three of them to eat.
Drinking pomegranate juice is wonderful but consuming the fruit directly will give you added fiber (only found in the edible seeds) and cut down on the fructose often found in fruit juices.
Benefit of Kids Preparing their Own Snack: Priceless with unforeseen benefits!
Health Benefits of Pomegranates:
1) Immune Boosting: High in Vitamin C and potassium
2) Anti-allergic: The substance polyphenols are found in pomegranates. Polyphenols have been shown to reduce a biochemical process that is linked with allergies.
3) Skin-cancer protection: Research has shown that pomegranates have helped decrease both main types of skin cancer.
4) Anti-aging: High amount of antioxidants. On the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity scale, pomegranates rate extremely high.
5) Live protection and regeneration: Not only protects the liver but helps regenerate from damage.
6) Kidney protection: Helps protect kidneys against harmful toxins.
7) Protects against heart disease: Pomegranates help one’s body to synthesize cholesterol and destroy free radicals in the vascular system.
8) Prostate and Breast-cancer protection: Pomegranates directly promote apoptosis (cancer cell death). Research article #1 and #2
9) Further benefits from eating pomegranates: Aid in weight loss , DNA-protection , normalizes blood pressure, Anti-infectious: , lesson symptoms of diarrhea and so much more!!
A pomegranate a day keeps the children at bay. Well, for at least 20 minutes.
What is a favorite healthy snack at your household? Or do you have a common snack that is prepared in a unique way?