One vegetable--french fries--accounts for nearly one-fourth of all of the vegetables eaten by children and adolescents.

While potatoes certainly can be part of a healthy diet, eating a variety of vegetables improves the chances of getting a variety of health-promoting--and disease-preventing--vitamins and minerals, said Kathy Walsten, Kansas State University Research and Extension nutrition educator.

As an example, dark green vegetables such as broccoli and spinach are rich in B-vitamins, as well as vitamins A and C, which help bolster the immune system. They also offer bone-building calcium and iron (for strength).

Deep yellow vegetables, such as carrots and sweet potatoes, are important sources of the vitamin A that contributes to healthy vision and skin, plus guards against infection, she said.

For more information on vitamins and minerals and the roles they play in the diet, interested Kansans can contact their county's K-State Research and Extension office.

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