As parents, we are always extra cautious about the quality of food we offer to our children, and the pandemic has only made us more paranoid. So, it is natural to be concerned about the presence of pesticides, wax, chemicals, viruses and germs on fruits and vegetables we buy from vendors. Washing them with plain water might have been sufficient once upon a time, but in todays’ world, we are better off taking extra precautions. While home remedies like baking soda and vinegar are available to us, we personally were unsure about their effectiveness in killing all the contaminants on the produce. But, not to worry, because we have tried and tested solutions to this problem. By following the guidelines below, you can ensure that your child is eating germ-free and clean fruits and vegetables at all times!
1. Make Sure The Produce Is Stored Properly
Once you buy fresh fruits and vegetables, we recommend storing all perishable produce in the refrigerator. Make sure you set the temperature at or below 40 degrees Fahrenheit. This will ensure that it remains fresh and also prevent any bacteria from thriving on it.
The remaining fruits and vegetables can be stored at room temperature, in vegetable baskets or racks. We suggest you clean the baskets and racks as well as the refrigerator on a regular basis. This has helped us get rid of any spoilt, rotten or unwanted fruits and vegetables. It also ensures that fresh produce does not come into contact with any bacteria or germs that might be harbouring in these areas. Additionally, we strongly feel the need to educate our children about not picking up and eating their favourite fruits from the storage area before they are properly washed.
2. Wash Produce With A Natural Cleaner When Ready To Consume
We’ve learnt that moisture trapped in the produce during washing and storing creates an environment for bacteria to prosper, as moisture is the perfect habitat for bacteria to multiply. So, we should only wash it when we’re ready to eat or cook the fruit or vegetable. Like us, you might be apprehensive about using cleaners with chemicals, as you don’t want to expose yourself or your kids to them. So, we found an amazing solution to this problem with Nature Protect’s Fruit and Vegetable Wash, which is free of harsh chemicals and has natural ingredients like Neem, Tulsi, Lemon and Citrus. For us as parents, one of the biggest attractions of this product is that it is FDA approved and recommended by paediatricians. From our experience of using it, we were pleased to see that it left no residue or aftertaste on the produce. In fact, we even noticed an increase in the shelf life of the fruits and vegetables washed with it. Neem is a natural ingredient that is being used since ancient times and is known for its antibacterial and antifungal properties, so it proves to be an effective disinfectant!
3. Clean The Kitchen Before Handling The Produce
In our experience, cleaning the kitchen sink, utensils, chopping boards and countertops thoroughly before use is extremely important. We need to follow the same process after the prepping and cooking has been done. Make sure you are sanitizing fruits and vegetables, including those that are peeled, like bananas or oranges, as contaminants can be transferred from the rind of the skin to the inside of the fruit or vegetable when they’re cut/peeled. If you are handling fresh produce and raw meat together, it’s best to use separate chopping boards, knives and utensils.
4. Avoid Resorting To Home Remedies
As far as cleaning of the produce is concerned, begin with washing the fruits and vegetables with plain water to get rid of all the soil, dirt or debris on its surface. At this point, you might consider using a home remedy like baking soda for washing vegetables or a vinegar fruit wash for deep cleaning of the produce, but the effectiveness of these home remedies cannot be guaranteed. Instead, opting for a product like Nature Protect’s Fruit and Vegetable Wash, which is free of harsh chemicals and absolutely safe for your child, is recommended. For us, a great advantage of the product is that it is extremely convenient and easy to use. Simply follow the instructions on the packaging and clean fruits and vegetables effectively!
5. Turn It Into An Activity To Involve Your Kids
During this pandemic, kids are not only studying and playing, but are also actively involved in various household chores. One great activity is washing fruits and vegetables. It’s an excellent way to teach them about various concepts like which part of the plant a particular produce comes from, eg. carrots and radish are roots, spinach is a leafy vegetable and so on. Through this activity, they can also learn new words, shapes, sizes, textures and colours. It is a great way to engage older kids as well.
Follow these tips to ensure your children are consuming clean fruits and vegetables at all times!