Autumn isn’t called the harvest season for nothing. If you’re looking to sneak-in a little nutritional learning with your child this season, here are a few “Fantastic Facts” about 5 of the most popular Fall foods!
- Nothing says autumn like a crisp juicy apple. From apple picking to apple cider to bobbing for apples, this fruit symbolizes the season.
- There are about 7,500 cultivated varieties of apple in the world. 2,500 varieties grow in the United States.
- Archeologists’ evidence shows that humans have been eating apples since at least 6,500 B.C.
- Don’t peel your apple. The majority of its fiber and lots of antioxidants are found in the skin. Antioxidants help to reduce damage to cells, which can trigger some diseases.
- These tasty vegetables originated in Ireland.
- Most of the potato’s nutrients reside just below the skin layer. This means it’s best to eat the skin! A baked potato with skin gives your body 4 grams of valuable fiber.
- Potatoes are the world’s fourth largest food crop, following rice, wheat, and corn.
- Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States, is credited with introducing America to the French fry.
- With more vitamin C than an orange, kiwi keeps your respiratory system healthy and boosts your immune system.
- The kiwi’s bright green flesh has a bright, sweet-tart taste, and is speckled with tiny black seeds. It has a brown, fuzzy outer skin.
- Originally from China, kiwi made their way to New Zealand in the early 20th century and eventually to the United States in the 1960s.
- Guess what? Sweet potatoes aren’t potatoes at all. Instead, these sweet orange root vegetables are related to the morning glory family, and their leaves produce purple flowers.
- Pilgrims and Native Americans enjoyed sweet potatoes at the first Thanksgiving feast.
- Before George Washington became our first president, he was a sweet potato farmer.
- Kids tend to like sweet potatoes because – you guessed it – they’re sweet! Try them baked or mashed with a little butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon.
- A classic symbol of fall and Halloween, pumpkins are a type of squash.
- Pumpkin varieties have expanded from orange to include shades of red, pink, green, tan, white, and blue.
- Pumpkin flesh is delicious cooked in pies, breads, and soups. Pumpkin seeds can be roasted in the oven for a delicious treat.
- The largest pumpkin ever grown weighed 1,140 pounds.
- The word pumpkin comes from the Greek word “pepon,” meaning “large melon.”
- Early American colonists sliced off pumpkin tops, removed the seeds, and filled the insides with milk, spices, and honey. It was baked in hot ashes and is the origin of pumpkin pie.