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YOUR KID‘S VEGETABLE LIST INCLUDES… “JUST CUCUMBERS?”A few notes on the cucumber defence

If you ever happened to talk about foods with other parents and your kiddo is just

re-e-e-ally not into vegetables, chances are you were apologetically saying something like “no vegetables…oh, well, you know…just cucumbers”. And no wonder, in the world of nutrition, cucumbers are often seen as insignificant and I’d say kind of a useless food.


Of course, we want to raise happy and adventurous eaters that go far beyond cucumbers on the side…and this is something I passionately advocate for every day to my clients…BUT todays topic is solely dedicated to cucumbers…a common vegetable (or actually also a fruit) that I believe is a bit more than “just”.


See, yes, cucumbers are mostly made of water. In fact, more than 90% of a cucumber is water. But this can be really good for hydration! Many kids have trouble drinking enough fluid throughout the day, which in turn may lead to various problems such as constipation. By eating one medium-sized cucumber a day, they will get about 90 ml of additional water. How cool is that? As cool as a cucumber!


Next, the same size unpeeled cucumber will also have about 16.4 mcg of vitamin K, needed for your kiddo’s blood to clot properly, as well as supporting bone health. Depending on the age of your child, this amount could be as much as

30-50% of their total daily needs! Not bad, cucumber!


You can also find here about 16 mg of calcium. Not much? True, but by comparison, broccoli, often used as an example of a calcium-rich vegetable, has only 33 mg per ½ cup. And after absorption losses due to high oxalic acid, what you really will get from broccoli is only about 20 mg.


Cucumbers also contain lutein and zeaxanthin, colourful phytonutrients and antioxidants that will contribute to protecting your kid’s brain tissues and eyes. Vitamin C? Yes! Almost 3 mg. Again, that’s not a lot, but it is about 15-20% of total daily needs depending on child’s age. So again, not bad at all.Cucumbers also have magnesium, zinc, selenium, folate, choline and beta carotene in various small amounts. Not enough to stay healthy, for sure, but nutritious nevertheless!


So, all in all, don’t get discouraged! If your kiddo is a picky eater, I highly recommend start working with a dietitian who specializes in kids’ nutrition. But meanwhile continue enjoying nutritional benefits of delicious and crunchy cucumbers!


As always stay safe, positive and "bite smartly". Love you all and til next!




References:

US Department of Agriculture. Retrieved from https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/168409/nutrients

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