Veggie Bites for Kids: Sweet Potato
It's no wonder why fans around the world love Mr. Sweet Potato. He rocks when it comes to delivering the goods, nutritionally speaking. A medium-sized baked sweet potato delivers an award-winning performance, supercharged with:
- Vitamin A -- which makes your eyes strong
- Vitamin C -- to help your immune system fight to keep you healthy
- Potassium -- to help your heart and muscles work better
- Fiber -- important for your stomach and intestines
Q: Mr. Sweet Potato, you're looking good today. What's your secret?
Sweet Potato: Beta-carotene. This vitamin gives me my healthy orange glow. It gives you all kinds of disease-fighting health benefits. Sometimes you'll see me looking a bit whiter on the inside. But that doesn't affect my nutritional talents.
Q: You're often associated with Thanksgiving dinner.
Sweet Potato: True, true. I'm really proud to be part of such a great holiday. But people dress me up with brown sugar, marshmallows, and butter. And then I'm way too sweet for my own good.
I'm tasty cooked just the way I am -- without sugary toppings. Plus, I wish people would have me all year around. I'm a veggie that can be used in more ways than you'd think.
Q: What do you mean?
Sweet Potato: I'm a great side dish. You can cook me the same way you would my sister, White Potato -- baked, boiled, mashed -- but I taste so much better: really sweet. Got more beta-carotene and vitamin A than White Potato, too. Both of those nutrients are good for your eyes and skin. There's nothing like me.
Q: I hear you've been appearing at other meals.
Sweet Potato: Yes, I've been doing lunches and after-school snacks. Just wash me, poke me with a fork, pop me in the microwave, and I'm done (nice and soft on the inside) in few minutes.
Q: So where can we find you these days?
Sweet Potato: Same place as always, the supermarket. You can get me canned or frozen. But frankly, I do my best work fresh from the produce section. I'm usually in a big bin near the other potatoes and onions. And you can often catch me at a farmers' market.
Q: We've all heard about your ongoing dispute with Yam. What's up with that?
Sweet Potato: Let me set the record straight: Yam and I are not fighting. Yam is one of my best friends. I just get a little upset when people confuse us and think we're the same thing with different names. Not true. We look similar, but we're totally separate veggies. He's drier, and I'm more sweet.
Q: Anything else you'd like to tell us?
Sweet Potato: I just want to say again that I'm not just a veggie for special occasions -- I'm an everyday kind of guy.
Feeling brave? Take the Vegetable Challenge.
Ready for another bite? Try Asparagus, Broccoli, Carrots, or Green Peas.