Ask the Diva: Are Freeze-Dried Vegetables Healthy?
Q. I am the mother of a two year old who refuses to eat fruits or vegetables that he can squish - which is about everything! But, I found that he will eat any freeze-dried fruit or vegetable. I’ve found some that don't have any additives (nitrates, sugars, etc...) and are just the fruit/vegetable that has been freeze-dried. Is this helping nutritionally?
A. Absolutely! All processing, including freeze-drying, involves some loss of nutrients—but fruits and vegetables can lose nutrients just sitting around on your kitchen counter, so it doesn’t make sense to get too worked up about this. There’s still plenty of nutrition left in freeze-dried veggies. As long as there are no added sugars or oils, I think it’s a great solution to your dilemma. Two suggestions: Make sure he drinks plenty of water to make up for what he’s not getting in the fruits and vegetables. And don’t overdo it on the fruit. Even if there’s no added sugar, dried fruit can be a concentrated source of sugar.
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