Why ONE is making the sweet potato famous

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It's #sweetpotatolove! Our friends at the ONE Campaign are on a mission to make this humble root famous. Why? Because sweet potatoes are a vitamin-packed part of the solution to ensuring that more than 25 million kids receive the nutrition they need to grow into healthy adults. I have bittersweet memories of sweet potatoes from my childhood. My mom, a made in the 1970’s health nut, made sweet potatoes for us every night it seemed. And she’d make us eat the baked, carmelized but still bitter skin- claiming, “it’s just like candy”! And since we weren’t really allowed to eat candy, I resented that poor sweet potato all the more, because I knew it really wasn’t just like candy.

But here I am today, packing sweet potatoes into my boys, trying to get them to eat the skin. They won’t, but that’s ok. Sweets are always in the fridge, or sometimes left forgotten in the oven. I'm not a fancy cook by any means, but sweets are a versatile food even I can handle. We have a great time dipping sweet potato fries into ketchup. Just slice the sweets, drizzle some olive oil, salt and pepper, and put them in the oven at 375 for 30 min or so.

On Saturdays, it's pancakes with leftover sweet potatoes. This is a great use for the one you forgot and left in the oven: simply add some mashed sweet potato to pancake batter and feel like a virtuous mom.

Sunday night, pork chops with sweet potatoes mashed in. And maybe some leftover apple pieces from the boys' lunch that week. Mash baked sweet potato with some butter and a little salt. Roast it with apple slices. Add to mostly cooked pork chops and let the flavors all cook together in a medium oven for 15 minutes. YUM.

What kids eat matters so much. One-in-three child deaths can be attributed to inadequate nutrition, and by 2050 seven out of ten of the world’s countries will not be able to properly feed its own population. The ONE Campaign (along with the sweet potato!) is asking world leaders to make measurable commitments to reduce chronic malnutrition for 25 million kids by 2016 so they can reach their full potential.

You can learn more about the power of the sweet potato and ONE’s work on their website and sign the petition in support of reducing chronic childhood malnutrition.

You can also like ONE on Facebook and follow @ONECampaign for more updates.