This month we want to introduce you and your family to SWEET POTATOES!
This root vegetable is a favorite among children and parents alike. Kids love the sweet flavor and the familiar texture, which is similar to a standard potato. Parents love them because they provide many health benefits. Sweet potatoes are a good source of vitamins A and C, fiber, and potassium. Some even believe they are one of the most nutrient-dense vegetables in the world!
Sweet potatoes are typically orange but also come in red, pink, white, yellow, and purple. When shopping in the produce department, look for small to medium-sized sweet potatoes without any bruising or cracks and smooth skin.
Did you know? Most sweet potatoes grown in the United States come from North Carolina or Louisiana. Sweet potatoes can be available year-round but are typically in season during fall and early winter.
You can also purchase processed sweet potatoes to save time. Canned sweet potatoes tend to uphold all the nutritional benefits of a fresh sweet potato. You’ll just want to avoid those packed in syrup. Frozen sweet potatoes are another great time-saving option. They’re sold in cubed, chunked, and mashed varieties. Watch out for items that have been pre-fried such as sweet potato fries since those will add a lot of unwanted fat to your diet.
Are sweet potatoes and yams the same thing? No! Yams are a tuber while sweet potatoes are a root. Sweet potatoes tend to be sweeter and creamier while yams are starchier.
Sweet potatoes are easy to prepare, often through baking, roasting, or mashing. Providing early veggie variety is key to raising adventurous, healthy eaters. We hope you will join the Veggies Early & Often campaign at home by cooking and eating a balanced, plant-forward diet to model good choices with your children. Get started by trying one of our Grow Fit-inspired recipes below!
4 medium sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 onion, diced
3 Tbsp. avocado oil
2 tsp. minced garlic
2 Tbsp. lime juice
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 can low-sodium black beans, rinsed and drained
Pepper, to taste
1 lb. ground turkey
4 cups diced sweet potatoes (approx. 2 large)
1 (15 oz.) can low-sodium kidney beans, rinsed and drained
1 tsp. chili powder
1 tsp. cumin
1 tsp. minced onion
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1 tomato, diced
⅓ cup salsa
⅓ cup light sour cream
2 lbs. sweet potatoes (approx. 2 large)
4 Tbsp. butter, melted and cooled
*These recipes are all veggie-forward and approved by the Partnership for a Healthier America to meet the Veggies Early & Often guidelines. Approved 10/11/23.