TV’s Dr Christian Jessen and the British Carrot Growers’ Association have collaborated on an informative yet fun leaflet that is now downloadable from www.britishcarrots.co.uk. The Get Healthy with Dr Carrot leaflet is part of a year-long campaign by the nation’s carrot growers and Dr Christian to reiterate the words of wisdom uttered by Dr Carrot, a cartoon character from World War II. Dr Carrot was part of an educational programme by the Ministry of Food to show people how to eat healthily during rationing but his words of advice are as valid today as they were 60 years ago and the leaflet is designed to communicate them to the younger generation.
“Dr. Carrot was a well loved character who promoted healthy-eating messages to keep the nation fit during the dark days of war,” says Dr. Christian. “I’m delighted to be revisiting his advice on behalf of the British Carrot Growers’ Association. Together we’ll get Britain healthy!”
The Get Healthy with Dr Carrot leaflet explains in a child friendly way just how important carrots are in our diets in particular the role that beta-carotene plays. This is an antioxidant that occurs in high levels in carrots and which creates Vitamin A in the body. This vitamin is vital for good eyesight, immunity, healthy hair and skin and ensuring good growth and strong bones and teeth. As Dr Christian explains: “Research* has shown that many of this country’s youngsters and indeed adults have lower levels of vitamin A intakes than is ideally necessary. But an 80g serving of cooked carrot – that’s just half a medium sized carrot – contains more than twice the recommended daily amount of vitamin A equivalent needed by adults. It really couldn’t be easier to eat yourself healthier with carrots.”
The leaflet also looks into the fascinating history of carrots, which believe it or not were originally purple. They only turned the more familiar orange colour in the 15th century when carrots were developed by Dutch growers in honour of their royal family who were from the ‘House of Orange’.
Perfect fodder for school quizzes, the leaflet contains some fun, interesting facts about carrots. Do you know, for example, how many carrots are bought in the UK every weekend? Or why carrots are ‘put to bed’ in winter and harvested at midnight at the start of the new season in June? For the answers visit www.britishcarrots.co.uk!
Carrots are incredibly versatile and can be eaten raw or cooked. During the Second World War carrots were promoted as a replacement for sugar in many recipes due to their natural sweetness which probably explains their popularity with children. If, as a mum though, you still struggle to think of ways to get your kids to eat more carrots, the Get Healthy with Dr Carrot leaflet can give some top tips to help make it happen eg mix mashed carrots with mashed potato and use to top cottage pie or fish pie.
Another sure-fire way to get children to eat better is to get them involved in cooking and the leaflet provides some simple recipes that youngsters should find easy to make and which have been developed by Dr Christian for that ‘celebrity flair and kudos’.
Dr Christian adds: “There’s so much to say about carrots. They’re low in calories, low in fat and saturates, naturally low in salt but high in fibre making them the perfect snack to crunch on when you’re watching your weight or that of your children. The beta-carotene, when converted into Vitamin A, is an important nutrient for eye health – a lack of it can cause blindness – and because beta-carotene is an important antioxidant, eating carrots helps to keep your skin healthy and elastic.”
To find out more about the wonder of carrots and to download the Get Healthy with Dr Carrot leaflet visit www.britishcarrots.co.uk.
*The research to which Dr. Christian refers is the National Diet and Nutrition Survey of Young People¹ that revealed that 13 per cent of 11-14 year old boys and 20 per cent of 11-14 year old girls have vitamin A intakes below the minimum amount needed for good health. This is also true of 16 per cent of men and 19 per cent of women aged between 19 and 24².
¹ National Diet and Nutrition Survey: Young People Aged 4-18 Years. 2000.
² National Diet and Nutrition Survey: Adults Aged 19-64 Years. Volume 2, 2003
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