Practical food tips for parents from a RD and mom of three

Thursday, July 29, 2010


Watermelon has been on sale a lot recently so we have been enjoying a lot of it. It is in-season and delicious! This juicy, sweet fruit is a good way to add Vitamins A and C, plus potassium and lycopene (a powerful antioxidant) to your kids' diet.

Watermelon can be your secret weapon if you have trouble convincing your children to drink enough during these hot summer days -- it is 91% water! No wonder a bowl of watermelon can be so thirst-quenching.

To select a ripe watermelon, look for one that has a firm underside that is yellowish, not white or green. When you thump the side of a ripe watermelon it should sound hollow.

As with other fruits and vegetables, it is important to wash a watermelon before slicing it. I put it in the sink and give it a good soap and rinse, then dry it off with a paper towel. Watermelons grow on the ground, and I don't want dirt to get on the watermelon pieces we eat.

A whole watermelon will last a week or so in the refrigerator, but it will only stay fresh for a few days once it is cut (and I've found it spoils more quickly the smaller the pieces). For this reason, I often cut half a watermelon at a time. I wrap the second half in plastic wrap and leave it in the fridge until we eat the slices from the first half.

Watermelon is fun to eat as slices or chunks. It is delicious in fruit salads with other delicious summer fruits and berries. You can also freeze chunks of watermelon on sticks for children to eat as popsicles. Frozen chunks of watermelon can be used in place of ice in smoothies. There are lots of recipes for watermelon salads out there – this has been a popular and new way to serve watermelon over the past year.

Today's tip: Buy a watermelon and enjoy this sweet, juicy taste of summer!

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