Eat More Fruit
“How do I get my kids to eat more fruit?” is one of the questions I am frequently asked by my readers.
I love seeing this question in my inbox.
I am sure that the frustrated parents at the other end of the email expect to see a three-page reply riddled with complicated tricks and step-by-step instructions. But, instead my reply simply reads, “If you want your children to eat more fruit you must make the fruit accessible to them”.
Of course, this piece of advice is almost too simplistic on paper but difficult to implement.
The following are a few suggestions about ways you can make fruit more accessible to your kids.
Don’t Be a Hypocrite
- Don’t lecture your kids about the health benefits of eating fruit when you’re eating potato chips
- Teach your kids that fruit is the healthier option by cleaning out your “snack drawer”
- Don’t expect your kids to go to the fridge, take out an apple, wash it, peel it, and eat it. This will never happen!
Play With Your Fruit
- Prepare a platter of fruit and serve it as dessert after dinner
- Make a fruit salad
- Make fruit smoothies
- Experiment with different fruit dessert recipes. Ex: gently poached spiced pears make an excellent dessert
- Cut up a variety of fruit, place them in separate dishes and serve them to your kids when they are doing homework or watching TV
Small Children or Toddlers
- Juice for toddlers or small children
- If you’re serving fruit to small children, make sure the fruit is accessible to them by making it easy for them to eat the fruit. Ex: peel and cut apples since small children may have a hard time biting into an apple or chewing the skin
- Don’t serve small children fruit that have small seeds such as grapes and blackberries. Instead buy blueberries and seedless grapes
- Small children often prefer sweet fruit over sour fruit. Ex: small children will often prefer the taste of tangerines over that of oranges
Give Your Children Variety
- If you buy your kids just one type of apple chances are soon they will be bored with that apple and refuse to eat it
- Give your kids a variety of fruit to try
- Empower your kids to make healthier choices by allowing them to pick the fruit they want to try at the grocery store or the farmer’s market
- Educate your kids about seasonal fruit