SOURCE: Clementines from Spain

November 28, 2005 11:38 ET

Indulge in Sweet Treats During the Holidays...the Healthy Way

Teen Chef Encourages Kids to Satisfy Their Sweet Tooth With Clementines From Spain

CHICAGO, IL -- (MARKET WIRE) -- November 28, 2005 -- It can be tough for parents to enforce healthy eating during the holidays, especially when schedules are busy and cookies, candy canes and other sugary snacks abound.

Luckily, the holiday season also is CLEMENTINES FROM SPAIN season, the only time of year to buy these brightly colored citrus fruits. Clementines from Spain are a sweet treat that kids and adults will love because they're portable, virtually seedless, easy to peel and nutrient-rich.

A Nutritious Holiday Snack

The reality is that kids are going to eat holiday treats -- and that's okay -- in moderation. It's extra important during this time to balance holiday treats with foods that aren't packed with fat and added sugar. A great way to encourage smart eating habits is to involve kids in the kitchen.

"Whipping up holiday treats with my family and friends is a fun way to spend time together," says teen chef Lanie Bayless, co-author of "Rick & Lanie's Excellent Kitchen Adventures." "This time of year, I love eating Clementines from Spain, but they're also a great treat dipped in my special chocolate fondue or added to a salsa."

A sweet alternative to typical holiday treats, Clementines are a good source of vitamin C, folate, fiber and potassium that kids need from the fruit group. They also are a tasty and convenient way to boost antioxidant intake.

To encourage healthy eating during the holidays or anytime, Bayless suggests kids try Clementines from Spain for a simple, portable snack. "My parents always have a crate of Clementines from Spain around the house during the holidays," she says. "They taste great and are easy to eat when I'm on the go."

Get Them While You Can

While Clementines from Spain are long on taste and nutritional benefits, they're only around for a short period of time. Look for these glossy, tightly packed, petite gems from November to March -- but expect best availability during December and January. These succulent fruits get steadily sweeter as the season progresses and reach peak sweetness by December. Packaged in creative wooden crates, they make a perfect holiday gift.

Sweet and Sun-Kissed from Spain

Known for their quality, Clementines come from Spain, the world's largest producer and exporter of these sweet, tiny citrus fruit. Clementines from Spain flourish on the sun-kissed slopes of one of the richest, most fertile areas in the world for citrus -- the east and southern coasts of Spain. During the growing season the fruit enjoys a combination of hot days and cool nights, along with unique soil and water conditions. These ideal conditions give Clementines from Spain a brilliant orange blush, delicate aroma and delectable sweetness.

"Clementines from Spain have continued to grow in popularity in the United States, where they have earned the status of the most prominent fruit in the Mediterranean," says Jeffrey Shaw, marketing director for Foods from Spain, Trade Commission of Spain in New York.

Once an exotic winter fruit only available in specialty markets on the East coast, Clementines are now piled high in grocery stores, supermarkets and warehouse stores nationwide. Shaw suggests these tips to buying the best Clementines:

--  The skin should appear bright and shiny and have a pleasant citrus
    smell with no hint of mustiness.
--  The fruit should be firm, but with a slight give, indicating
    juiciness.
--  The color should be brilliant orange, not pale yellow. When buying
    Clementines by the crate, check for consistent color throughout, indicating
    that the fruit was picked at the same level of maturity.
--  More often than not, the smaller the Clementine, the sweeter it is.
--  To ensure you get first-quality fruit, always check that the label
    says "Clementines from Spain."
    

New Web Site Offers Tips, Recipes and More!

How are Clementines from Spain grown? When are Clementines in season? How can I use Clementines from Spain in a recipe? Log on to the new Clementines from Spain web site -- www.clementinesfromspain.com -- to find answers to these questions and more.

The web site features simple and festive recipe ideas, serving tips, nutrition information, a holiday sweepstakes for kids and what to look for when buying.

Clementines "Healthy Holiday" Sweepstakes

Don't forget to keep active! Kids can enter to win an iPod® Shuffle™ to keep them entertained whether walking to school, exercising or preparing their favorite dish with Clementines from Spain. Five winners will be randomly selected.

Visit clementinesfromspain.com by Dec. 31, 2005 to enter the sweepstakes. The Clementines from Spain "Healthy Holiday" Sweepstakes is open to kids aged 13 to 18 years at time of entry. (See web site for complete rules.)

High-res images available upon request.

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