Friday, July 1, 2011

Introducing Purple Carrot Books

Purple Carrot Books
And now for something a little different. Some of you know I have another life as a writer (as opposed to an encourager for healthy living) and may follow my journey at Paws and Ponder. If this is new to you, this post will connect some dots.

Under the moniker, Purple Carrot Books, I'm making a picture book I wrote into an Apple iPad app. For kids 4 to 8-years old, The Prisoner of Carrot Castle ~ The Veggie Chronicles, is a suspense-filled story that just may encourage kids to eat their vegetables.

Most kids don’t like veggies and Aiden was no exception. His overactive imagination often transported him from dinner table to far away places and one time he finds himself a prisoner in Carrot Castle. Readers follow the adventures of Aiden as he attempts to escape. Will the ugly guard chain Aiden to the prison cell wall? Does he get found out as he hides from guards searching for him in the castle? Will Aiden have to face the angry King of Carrot Castle? Does Aiden eat his vegetables?

It's a really fun and beautifully illustrated story with lots of interaction and games. When Aiden finds himself stuck in the story, kids can help him overcome his obstacles.

Getting Back to Healthy EatingWhy Purple Carrots?
Actually carrots were originally purple or black. They go back several thousand years to the Middle East and were introduced to Europe in the middle ages. First grown for medicinal purposes, the green leafy tops were favored over the bitter root. Over years of cultivation it became more edible... and orange!

Carrot Nutrients
Carrots contain a plethora of phytonutrients. Although the nutrient most are familiar with is beta-carotene, another benefit of carrots is alpha-carotene, found to be more beneficial to preventing cancerous tumor growths. Beta-carotene is still a powerful anti-oxident helping the body battle the affects of oxidative damage that leads to degenerative diseases. Our bodies create vitamin A from beta-carotene.

Lutein, another nutrient in carrots, similar to beta-carotene, nourishes the eyes and combats macular degeneration. Carrots are also a good source of vitamin B, C D, E and folic acid, plus minerals potassium, copper, magnesium and calcium pectate (a cholesterol-lowering fiber). Although absent in the  root, the green tops are rich in vitamin K important to healing.

Carrot Facts
Several more factoids about carrots:
Purple Carrot Books
  • The cellular nature of carrots makes the nutrients more bio-available if they are juiced.
  • The body absorbs only 5% of the beta-carotene when raw and 60% when cooked (so it's okay to buy the flash-pasteurized carrot juice).
  • Cooking carrots before slicing maintains 25% more falcarinol, an anti-cancer compound.
  • Scrub don't peel or you remove much of the carrots nutrients.
Look for the following varieties of carrots, which contain nutrients that influence their color, in the grocery store or at your local farmer's market:
  • Orange—Beta-carotene and alpha-carotene.
  • Yellow—Xanthophylls and lutein.
  • Red—Lycopene (a carotene).
  • Purple—Beta-carotene and anthocyanins.
How do you get your kids to eat vegetables? Scroll down and leave a comment.


  1. Chris, I'm so proud of you! You are doing great things!

    In answer to your question, I started my children eating a variety of fruits and vegetables as early as they could.

    They never knew there was an option not to eat them. My encouragement to moms is to get those delicious veggies into their children early and often. They catch on quick.

  2. Great advice, Beth. That was my experience with my son. I made his food in the food processor--lots of veggies early.