Combine books and food for fun: Oranges

Enjoy a snack and a book to help kids learn more about healthy eating.

During the Winter season, citrus fruits are ripe for the picking. As you look through the produce section, you’ll see an abundance of grapefruits, tangerines and a favorite of many kids, mandarine oranges to name a few.  Citrus fruits are said to be a good source of vitamin C. The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FOA) mentions other nutritional and health benefits of citrus fruits “including both glycemic and non-glycaemic carbohydrate (sugars and fibre), potassium, folate, calcium, thiamin, niacin, vitamin B6, phosphorus, magnesium, copper, riboflavin, pantothenic acid and a variety of phytochemicals.” Don’t just wander past the sweet, fragrant citrus fruits, pick some up to enjoy for you or for the kids in your life.

Try combining reading a book with preparing a snack using a citrus fruit, like an orange and to have some extra fun. Plan a time to purchase the fruit, select a recipe and choose a book about a citrus fruit. One book recommendation is “An Orange in January” by Dianna Hutts Aston and illustrator Julie Maren. The story follows the journey of an orange from blossom to harvest to the hands of a boy.

Following the reading of the story, head to the kitchen and whip up a healthy snack like an orange smoothie.

ORANGE SMOOTHIE

1 cup orange (peeled and sectioned) or more if preferred

¼ cup orange juice (involve kids by having them squeeze the needed juice)

½ cup low-fat vanilla yogurt

½ tablespoon of honey

Ice if needed

Combine ingredients in a blender, serve and enjoy.

Take the time this winter season to add citrus fruits to your day. Involve the kids in your life in the kitchen by making a yummy smoothie and curling up with a good book. Michigan State University Extension recommends taking advantage of the many benefits of citrus fruits by enjoying some today.

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