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Fruit Bites for Kids: Watermelon

Watermelon with faceWatermelon seems like just a big, fun, summer-loving guy. But don't think he's all fun and games. He brings a lot more than sweetness to the party. He has lots of these vitamins:

  • Vitamin C -- helps your immune system. That's the system that helps keep you from getting sick.
  • Vitamin A -- makes your eyes strong.
  • Vitamin B6 -- helps fight infections.
  • Vitamin B1 -- helps your body use food for energy.
  • Lycopene -- an antioxidant, may help prevent cancer.

Q: From your name, I'd guess you have a lot of water in you.

Watermelon: Yes, indeed, I am 92% water. But that doesn't water down my taste or my health benefits. I deliver more nutrients per calorie than many other fruits! And having so much water in me can help keep you full.

Q: You're basically a one-season fruit, right?

Watermelon: I'm really best in the summer. That’s when I'm fresh off the vine.

In many cities, though, I'm available year-round. You can catch me in the produce section of the grocery store. If you're lucky, you can find me at farm stands. That's where I'm extra fresh, juicy, and crunchy. You won't find me canned or frozen.

Q: Even though you grow on a vine, I hear your vines don't climb and you stay on the ground. Is that true?

Watermelon: Take a look at me, man! I once set a world record at 262 pounds. Even at my normal weight of 5 to 30 pounds, I'm no string bean. No vine could hold me up. But that's OK. I grow just fine on the ground like my cousin, Pumpkin.

Q: So you come in many sizes?

Watermelon: Yeah, and many colors and shapes, too. Many people think of me only in the extra-large picnic size. But I have more than 50 varieties in the United States.

My rind is usually thick and green, but it can look black. It's often striped but it can be spotted. Inside I can be pink or yellow. I might be round, or I might be oblong. Usually I have small seeds inside. But they can be black seeds, or brown, yellow, green, or white seeds. And, sometimes I'm seedless.