Love Your Veggies
Ever wondered why carrot are orange? Or why they’re so good for you? We’ve got all you need to know about this delightful veggie that brightens up soup, salads and dips.
Carrots are Tops with Kids
They’re bright orange, crunchy and a little bit sweet — no wonder carrots are one of kids’ favorite veggies! They’re an important part of a kid’s healthy diet and are the perfect veggie for dipping in Ranch.
Let your kids help make their own lunch or whip up the family's favorite carrot recipe. Have them cut off the carrot greens and wash the carrots—younger kids can use plastic, serrated lettuce knives. Thinly sliced carrots are best in salads, so have your older kids (9 and up) use the grater to turn a carrot into thin strips.
A Health Food Store in a Veggie
Carrots are the number one source of a key nutrient for your senses: beta-carotene, which is what turns carrots bright orange. Your body converts some of this beta-carotene into vitamin A, which is great for healthy skin, bones, teeth, and of course, vision. Whether you eat them raw or in a delicious carrot recipe, just 30 grams of this amazing vegetable give you all the vitamin A you need for an entire day! Plus, carrots are good for the digestion, with plenty of dietary fiber.
Planting Seeds of Excitement
Carrots are a fun vegetable for kids becuse they’re like buried treasure. Be sure to have your camera ready for the smiles when they pull the greens out of the ground and there’s a big beautiful orange carrot attached!
- Plant early, harvest early. Carrots can withstand a bit more cold than other springtime seedlings, so plant them in early spring. Then, you can plan on harvesting your first crop before the real heat of summer hits.
- Don't overwater. Too much water produces bitter carrots. Carrots do best with soil that is just moist, so try to give them an inch of water a week. And check below the surface to make sure the water is penetrating the roots.
- Carrots sprout quickly. They take only about 3 months to grow so be sure to keep an eye out for leafy greens peeking up from the soil.
- Protect your crop. Place a fine mesh netting over the greens to keep pests and critters from eating your carrots.
- Soak the soil. When you're ready to harvest, make sure the soil is very wet—it makes it easier to pull the carrots up.
- Harvest with a twist. To pick, grab the greens close to the ground and pull out with a slight twisting motion.
- Don't pick them if you don't need them. Carrots will keep underground for up to a month without getting tough.
Pick, Store & Prep Carrots
The more involved your kids are with veggies the more they’ll eat. So grow their interest — take them to the grocery store or farmers’ market and teach them how to pick the best of the bunch.
- Brighter is better. Brighter is better. We know carrots are packed with beta-carotene, which gives them their great orange color and nutrients, so be sure to pick the ones that are brighter orange — this tells you that they have more beta-carotene and a greater amount of nutrients. Avoid any with dark spots or tips.
- Younger is better. Choose young, slender carrots that are firm and feel a bit heavy.
- Look for leafy tops. If you can find carrots with the tops still attached, grab them. They’re a good indicator of freshness.
- Check those snack packs. Today, most “baby carrots” that you see in supermarkets are actually carved regular carrots. Real baby carrots are a lot more fun for the kids and use less packaging.
- Take off the tops. Always remove the greens on the carrot as soon as possible. These will soak up all of the vitamins and moisture from the carrot.
- Carrots keep well. They can be stored for several weeks in a plastic bag in your refrigerator.
- Be careful how you store them. Keep them away from apples, pears and potatoes—these emit gasses that can make carrots bitter.
- Don’t toss the peel.Try not to peel carrots, if you can, because that’s where many of the nutrients are.You should peel them, however, when the carrots are old, thick or not organic, so that you don’t eat any unwanted chemicals.
- Give them a quick scrub. Gently clean them under cool running water with a vegetable brush.
- Cook them for better nutrition. It's a good idea to blanch them every now and again to get the most out of their antioxidant properties. Carrots are one of the few veggies that actually provide more beta-carotene when lightly cooked.
Make Your Whole Bunch Happy
Carrots are great all on their own, but they take on richer, sweeter quality when added to soups, sautés and stir-frys.Here are a few fresh ideas for cooked carrots.
Carrot Ginger Soup
This soup gets an extra boost of vitamins C and A from butternut squash.
Carrot Oven Fries
Healthy fries for your small fry.
Ranch Stir-Fried Carrots and Garden Vegetables
Our Fiesta Dip Mix adds a little spice to sautéed veggies.
Glazed Baby Carrots
Watch Jennie Garth prepare this quick, sweet side dish that any kid will love.
Watch the video
Test Your Carrot Knowledge
- 1. How did people like to eat carrots in the time of the Roman Empire?
- A) Baked
- B) Boiled
- C) Without the main root
- D) Without the leaves
The Answer is C
Believe it or not, Romans ate just the leaves and seeds of the carrot. The orange part we eat today was fed to their livestock.
- 2. Which country produces the most carrots?
- A) China
- B) United States
- C) Netherlands
- D) Russia
The Answer is A
China produces about a third of all carrots in the world, and they like them stir fried.
- 3. What happens if you eat too many carrots?
- A) You grow leaves
- B) You start hopping like a bunny
- C) You turn orange
- D) You live to be 100
The Answer is C
Yes, it’s possible to eat so many carrots that your body can’t process all of the vitamin A, so your skin can turn slightly orange. But it takes a lot of carrots (a pound a day or more), and it’s temporary.
- 4. How long was the biggest carrot ever recorded?
- A) 6 feet
- B) 12 feet
- C) 19 feet
- D) 60 feet
The Answer is C
It was 19 feet 1.96 inches to be exact. In 1998, Joe Atherton of Mansfield Woodhouse, England, and his St. Valery carrot made the Guinness Book of Records for “Longest Carrot.” He used long plastic tubes to help it grow, but it still took 14 months!
- 5. Carrots are not a fruit, but they’re officially classified as a fruit by the European Union. Why?
- A) Because EU laws are silly
- B) Because one country likes to eat carrot marmalade and it would be illegal if carrots weren’t officially a fruit
- C) Because they’re orange
- D) All of the above
The Answer is B
The Portuguese love carrot marmalade, so they got it classified as a fruit in the European Union Jam Directive. Bet that was a fun law to research.
- 6. Which of these is most closely related to carrots?
- A) Potatoes
- B) Avocados
- C) Sweet potatoes
- D) Parsley
The Answer is D
Carrots and parsley are part of a family of plants that produces umbrella-like flower clusters. But with parsley, you eat the flowers and with carrots, you eat the roots.
You answered 0 correctly!