Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sweet on Sweet Potatoes

I think my four-year-old son might love sweet potatoes more than me.

Oh, I know he does love me.  He gives me kisses and is happy to see me when he wakes every morning.  He wants to play with me all the time and holds my hand while we read books.

But dinner last night made me stop and think.   Possibly - just possibly - he might love those potatoes a bit more.

Maybe it was the way he whooped with delight and did a little jig in the kitchen when I informed him sweet potatoes were on the menu.  Perhaps it was the way he rhapsodized about the taste while eating them.  Or the way he absolutely, unequivocally was not willing to share with another human being.  But the clincher?  When he proceeded to inhale three (yes, count them, three) potatoes.  And asked for more.

I understand why the child loves them so.  I do make a mean mashed potato, I must say - bake them whole in the oven, mash up the flesh and add just a touch of skim milk and a bunch of really good cinnamon.  No sugar, no butter, no cream.  Just sweet, delicious, rich and creamy potatoes.  

And they are really good.

Not to mention they are one of the healthiest veggies you can eat - low in calories and dense with nutrients.  Eat just one and you'll get two times the vitamin A you need and more fiber than a bowl of oatmeal.  You'll also get a good dose of potassium, folic acid and vitamin C.  And that deep, rich orange color?  It tells you that sweet potatoes are chock-full of beta-carotene, an antioxidant essential for healthy eyes, skin and immunity.

So, it's OK if he loves them.  Even a tiny bit more than me.

I mean, it could be worse.  He could be having a love affair with Skittles, Doritos or soda.  Which really wouldn't fly too well at my house.

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