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Our Blog: September 8, 2023

Fall in Love With Carrots!

This month we want to highlight the benefits and versatility of CARROTS! They are a great summer vegetable, but did you know they can be grown almost year-round? In fact, if you have a garden, you can still plant carrots in September, and they will continue to grow into the cooler months.

There are many varieties of carrots including your standard orange carrot, but they also come in purple, red, white, and yellow. Many grocery stores sell “rainbow” carrots in the produce section. You will also find carrots prepped in many ways including baby-cut, shredded, and coins. Sometimes just introducing a new shape can inspire your children to try them!

Carrots are often referred to as the perfect health food. They are crunchy, tasty, and high in many nutrients including beta-carotene (a precursor to vitamin A) and potassium. They are also low in fat and high in fiber making them a good snack to keep your belly full.

Early veggie variety is key to raising an adventurous, healthy eater. Through exposure we now know kids can learn to LOVE vegetables. We hope you will join the Veggies Early & Often campaign at home by being a role model for children through cooking and eating a balanced, plant-forward diet.

Give these healthy carrot recipes a try!

Parmesan Roasted Carrot Fries, Serves 6


2 lbs. carrots, peeled

1 Tbsp. olive or avocado oil

½ cup parmesan cheese, grated

Pepper, to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Cut the carrots into “fries” about 1-inch thick.
  3. For young assistants: Have them combine the oil, pepper, and cheese in a flat dish. Gently toss the carrot fries in the oil mixture.
  4. Lay carrot fries out on a pan lined with parchment paper or silicon mat.
  5. Roast for 16 to 20 minutes or until tender and lightly charred, flipping halfway through.

 Serving Suggestion: Pair with your favorite Greek yogurt-based dips.

Herbed Carrot Ribbons, Serves 4


1 lb. carrots, peeled

1 Tbsp. parsley, finely chopped

1 Tbsp. dill, finely chopped

2 Tbsp. olive or avocado oil

1 Tbsp. lemon juice

1 tsp. Dijon mustard

1 tsp. apple cider vinegar

Pepper, to taste


  1. For young assistants: Have them combine the oil, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, mustard, and a pinch of pepper. Whisk together.
  2. Peel the carrots to remove the outside layer and discard.
  3. Continue using the vegetable peeler and slice the carrots into ribbons.
  4. For young assistants: Have them toss the carrot ribbons with the dressing. Let them marinate for one hour or overnight.
  5. Toss with the fresh herbs (parsley and dill) just before serving.

Veggie Cakes, Makes 30


 2 cups broccoli, grated

3 zucchinis, grated and drained well

6 carrots, peeled and grated
1 onion, diced and sauteed

1 cup corn

4 eggs

½ tsp. pepper

1 tsp. garlic powder

½ cup breadcrumbs

½ cup flour

½ tsp. baking powder

½ cup parmesan cheese

1 to 3 Tbsp. olive or avocado oil


  1. For young assistants: Have them combine the flour, baking powder, pepper, and garlic. Add the breadcrumbs and cheese. Mix well.
  2. For young assistants: Have them add all the vegetables. Toss them to make sure the flour mixture coats it all evenly.
  3. Crack the eggs into a small bowl and whisk. Pour them over the vegetable mixture and mix thoroughly.
  4. Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add a drizzle of oil to coat the bottom of the pan.
  5. Using a scoop or large spoon, drop veggie mixture into the hot oil and gently flatten it with the back of your utensil to form a patty.
  6. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes on each side. Turn the heat down if they start to brown too quickly.
  7. Remove from the pan and let it cool by placing it on a rack positioned over a sheet pan (to catch anything that might drop).
  8. Repeat until the mixture is gone.

 Note: Use this recipe as a meal prep option for an easy breakfast or snack. Store extra veggie cakes in the fridge or freezer and then reheat them in the microwave or a non-stick sauté pan. 

About the Author

Nicole Spain, MS, RDN

Childhood nutrition has been Nicole’s passion for more than 20 years. She is a Registered Dietitian Nutritionist (RDN) with a Master of Science (MS) in Nutrition and Dietetics from Northern Illinois University. During her career with Learning Care Group (LCG), Nicole has assisted with developing and implementing the company’s proprietary Grow Fit program. Through her curated menus, the healthy lifestyle initiative positively impacts approximately 100,000 children daily in LCG’s 1,050+ schools. She aided in the rollout of the Veggies Early & Often campaign in 2021 and helped LCG be recognized as the 2017 Partner of the Year by the Partnership for a Healthier America. Since 2004, she’s also been an active Junior League member and developed the Kids in the Kitchen program for their Detroit and Milwaukee chapters. Nicole and her husband, John, have three children. In her spare time, Nicole competes on a rowing team with the Detroit Boat Club Crew.