All parents worry about what their kids eat and want to try to help them along the way to their 5-a-day. We all know kids can be hard to please when it comes to food but it’s so important that they get enough fruit so here are 5 simple ways to start making fruit a favourite.
- Lead by example – As with so many things, when it comes to eating the old approach of ‘do as I say, not as I do’ is rarely successful. If you want your kids to eat fruit then you need to let them see you eating fruit too. Keep a variety of fruit accessible in fruit bowls or in the fridge and make sure you are choosing a banana at breakfast or reaching for a delicious healthy snack when you’re peckish and the kids will soon follow suit. Hey, adults need to get their 5-a-day too, you know!
- Try something a bit different – There are so many varieties of fruit, some in weird and wonderful colours and shapes, that you’re bound to find something to interest curious kiddies in your local supermarket. Blueberries are a big favourite in our house but how about trying star fruit or pomegranate or passion fruit? Let them try a little bit of a couple of different things and then talk about how they compare. Which ones are hard or soft? Are they juicy? Which is their favourite?
- Change their appearance – Presenting the fruit in a different way can be enough to spark their interest. Cut apples or pears into thin slices and use some fruit yogurt or crème fraiche as a dip or crush raspberries with a fork and pour over ice cream for pudding. Don’t forget dried fruit as many, such as dried cranberries or goji berries, resemble the raisins that most kids love so they are more likely to give them a try.
- Smoothies and juice – Don’t forget that fresh smoothies and juices are a great way to give kids one or two of their daily fruit portions without them realising as the bright colours really appeal to them. If you don’t have one already, blenders have now become relatively inexpensive and they are handy to have for lovely healthy soups as well. Use yogurt, milk or juice as the basis for your smoothie depending on how creamy you want it to be. If it is replacing breakfast or a snack then adding a banana will make it more filling. Then just add any fruit you like, berries are particularly good, and if it needs sweetening you can add a little honey.
- Keep it regular – If you want fruit to be an everyday habit for your kids it helps to make it part of your daily routine. For example if your morning snack is usually biscuits or breadsticks or cheese, why not decide that the afternoon snack will always be fruit based? How about declaring that you will be adding some fruit to whatever dessert you are serving each evening?
Most of all, remember that even if you didn’t manage 5 portions of fruit and veg, every little helps.