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Veggie Bites for Kids: Sweet Potato

girls holding sweet potatosIt'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 antioxidant 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 so many 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 (which is the plant source of vitamin A)  than White Potato, too. Vitamin A is 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.

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