I was packing lunch for my son recently and went to put in a kiwifruit. Whenever I add a kiwi I usually halve it and include a spoon for him to scoop out the flesh. Don’t worry about that, he said, as I eat the whole thing, skin and all.
Maybe because the skin’s a little fuzzy or a bit tough, but we tend to peel kiwis before eating them. It got me wondering whether, as with many fruits and vegetables, eating the skin is not only OK, but beneficial.
Turns out it’s both.
The kiwifruit has more vitamin C than an orange. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps the immune system, as well as essential for the growth and repair of tissues in every part of the body. By eating the skin you’ll get even more vitamin C, plus some valuable fibre, in fact up to triple the fibre of the ‘meat’ of the fruit inside. Fibre is important for controlling blood sugar, for helping us to feel full, and for helping control cholesterol levels. It’s also ‘food’ for our bacteria residing in our large intestines that have an integral role to play in our overall health. Most of us don’t eat enough fibre, children included.
Eating the skin makes it less messy when you slice the fruit, because it holds the flesh together. If your child doesn’t like the skin, you could try gold kiwifruit instead, as the skin is smoother and less bitter.
And rather than a sports drink, offer your child some water and a kiwifruit after sport. Kiwifruit is packed with electrolytes, including potassium, to help rehydrate without the added sugar contained in sports drinks.