Get Your Children to Eat More Fruits with These 9 Tips | Fruits, just like vegetables, are a great source of nutrients. These yummy food products are naturally low in calories and rich in minerals and vitamins necessary for healthy growth and development
Not many children, however, are eating fruits. A report from The Washington Post revealed that although many children are consuming veggies, they eat less fruit as they age. What’s worse, they are substituting juice for the actual fruit. Younger children were more likely to drink fruit juice than eating the actual produce.
When you’re trying to get your little ones to bump up their fruit intake, giving them processed orange juice with pulp isn’t enough. You need to give them the real deal – eating whole, natural and unprocessed fruits.
If you need help getting your kids to include this particular food group into their diet, keep these tips in mind:
- Use Reminder Stickers
These colorful pieces of paper may be tiny, but they’re powerful enough to encourage children to add more fruits to their diet.
You could place colorful post-it notes on the refrigerator or in your kids’ room reminding them to eat more apples, oranges, bananas or whatever food you have at home. You could further entice your little ones by sticking a popular cartoon character on a piece of fruit.
- Create a “Fruit First” Rule
Before you allow your little ones to munch on chips, chocolates and candy, tell them to have some fruit first. If they still want more of those unhealthy treats, serve them a small portion. At the end of the day, your goals are to prioritize fruit consumption and discourage the eating of unhealthy snacks.
- Serve Fruits as Snacks
When your children need a snack break, serve fruits instead of other unhealthy snacks. If your kid is busy studying or practicing beginner piano lessons at home, for instance, call them to the kitchen when they take a break. Then, serve whatever sliced fruits they want.
- Eat Fruits Together
Your kids are more likely to enjoy consuming fruits if you eat the snack in front of them. If your children don’t like the appearance of a pear or an apple, slice up these fruits and sample these foods in front of your kids. Let them know how tasty and sweet these healthy snacks are, so you could encourage them to grab a slice. Pro-tip: eating fruits together is also a fantastic time to spend quality time with your little ones.
- Offer a Variety of Fruits
Don’t make your children eat the same type of fruit for a week. Vary up your selection by serving different types of fruits. If your child, for instance, likes apples, make sure you buy and serve berries, bananas and oranges, as well. Keep things interesting and different for your little ones.
- Keep These Fruits in Plain Sight
When some parents purchase fresh fruit, they put it away inside the refrigerator where it’s both out of sight and out of mind. If you want your young ones to get into the habit of eating fruits every day, you’ll need to make sure that these foods are prepped and in a conspicuous place. This means serving sliced or cubed mangoes, pineapples, melons or whatever fruit you’ve purchased at the supermarket.
- Serve Fruit in Different Forms
Fresh, imported fruit can be costly. If you’re on the budget, you could serve canned, dried or frozen fruits instead. You can, for instance, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries and blueberries in their frozen forms. They’re perfect as a cereal ingredient or as topping on baked treats.
You also have the option to serve dried fruit. Dried plums, apricots, figs, dates and raisins provide a big dose of energy and fiber. Drying diminishes the water content, which bumps up the proportion of nutrients and some vitamins. Just make sure to cut down the serving sizes, as these dried variations can be high in sugar and calories.
- Pack Fruits in Your Children’s Lunch Box
On top of packing a standard sandwich and drinks, add a piece of fruit to your little one’s lunch container. Ask them what their favorite fruit is, then add their selection to the lunch box.
- Involve Your Kids in Food Shopping
Instead of going to the grocery store or supermarket by yourself, take your kids with you. While you’re in the store, let them choose their favorite fruit. Then, get them to add new fruits to the shopping basket. Getting them to participate in the fruit selection can make your little ones more excited about eating the food they’ve chosen for themselves.
Get your kids off the processed juice boxes and into enjoying real fruit by following these nine suggestions. When your children develop the habit of consuming fruits regularly, they can grow healthy and have the energy needed to do well in school.