4 Reasons Clementines Are Great for Kids
Mandarin, clementine, tangerine, oh my! If you’re looking for a healthy, kid-friendly treat your child will love seeing in his or her lunchbox, look no further than the clementine (or clementina, which means “clementine” in Spanish).
There are quite a few types of orange citrus fruits to choose from, and you may notice that the mandarin tangerine and clementine look very similar. Both are hybrids of mandarin oranges, but the clementine is especially appealing to young snackers, and here are four great reasons for adding them to your child’s diet:
- Clementines are sweet.
Does your child have a sweet tooth? Well, that’s not so unusual…most kids do! Unfortunately, the candy, cakes and cookies kids love tend to be high in refined sugars and simple carbohydrates, which can wreak havoc on a child’s teeth, attention span and overall health.
Don’t be fooled by click-bait adds that warn you that a piece of fruit is as bad as a candy bar…the sugar in a clementine orange or clementine juice is not the same as the sugar in processed foods. The sugars in fruit are packed less densely than in a candy bar, meaning that the energy spike your child gets from eating a clementine tangerine at lunch won’t be followed by the severe drop that leaves him or her nodding off in social studies after indulging in a slice of cake. Your child’s body needs to work harder to process the sugars found in healthy fruits, while the sugars in a simple carbohydrates make it harder to regulate blood sugar. With clementines, you can indulge your child’s craving for something sweet in a way that pleases you both. Hooray for clementine fruit!
- Clementines are very nutritious.
Speaking of giving your kids treats you can feel good about, you can’t get much better than clementines…these babies are nutritional powerhouses! Do a search on clementine nutrition information and you’ll be very happy with what you see…small as they are, clementines offer a lot of bang for their buck. In one small clementine calories top out at 35, with fewer than 10 grams of sugar and zero fat. Being a citrus fruit, clementines are high in vitamin C (40% of the recommended daily amount in just one serving). Plus, the healthy, blood sugar-regulating fiber in clementine oranges adds up quickly if you let your kids snack on several of them throughout the day.
- Clementines are easy to eat.
It’s almost as though clementine oranges were made with lunchboxes in mind! Their small size makes perfect for snacking, perfect for small hands to carry, and perfectly portable. Their thin skins are easy to peel, and they’re low on the bitter white pith that many kinds find a turnoff. And if your kids see you packing one or two in their lunch boxes and ask are clementines seedless, you can answer, yes they are! Choosing one of the seedless varieties of clementine means your kids are even more likely to eat their healthy snack (and less likely to get in trouble for spitting seeds at their friends in school).
- Clementines hold up well.
Wondering how long are clementines good for? Unlike bananas (which don’t do well when frozen or stored in the freezer) or pears (which soften quickly when left on the counter), clementines are easy keepers. Should clementines be refrigerated? Under most circumstances, yes – the best place to store clementines is inside the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. If your child prefers to eat them at room temperature, however, they should last up to a week if stored out of direct sunlight in a basket or open mesh container.
Can you freeze clementines? Be sure to peel them and remove as much of the pith as you can first. Separate them into segment, then rinse and pat them dry. Put them in an airtight container or heavy-duty freezer bag and cover them with a cooled simple syrup made from boiling a mixture of sugar and water together. Properly stored, your family will be able to enjoy them at their best quality for up to a year!