Fruits provide essential flavours for the development of children. It encourages the discovery of unique tastes. Despite this, it can be difficult to get your children to eat enough fruit each day.
It’s clear that children may have difficulty filling half their plate with vegetables and fruit at each meal. But it doesn’t have to be difficult. Here are six great ways to encourage your kids to eat more fruit.
Make fruit taste good
It’s pretty simple: fruit has to taste good for kids to eat it. Younger children prefer sweet and salty foods (rather than bitter ones)! Try warm, brightly coloured, sweet and slightly crunchy fruit recipes that will catch their attention at first glance for better food acceptance. You can also buy them fruit in candy form, such as sour cherry candies.
Make fruit accessible
If fruit is not accessible, your children will not be able to eat it. From strawberries to apples and cranberries to pineapples, put plenty of fruit products in your grocery cart when you shop. Then, when you get home from the grocery store, wash and prepare the fruit and place it in the refrigerator to remind yourself (and them!) to eat more of it, more often.
Also remember that eating habits are influenced by factors other than the home environment. Think about the food your children have access to when they are out and about, whether it’s at daycare, school or after-school activities. Pack a to-go box with cut up fruit, juice or even toast with fruit jam as a tasty snack when you’re not home.
Introduce them to fruit
Don’t worry if your child doesn’t try a piece of fruit the first time you prepare it. It can take several exposures to a new fruit (some research suggests as many as six!) before children feel familiar and comfortable trying and loving it.
In addition to serving these foods frequently at the kitchen table, picture books and TV shows showing delicious foods can also increase familiarity and exposure.
Introduce your child to fruit in a fun way
Create a fun environment where kids can get creative with their fruits and vegetables, such as using food as art. Assemble animals, cars, houses and other objects from fruit cut into different coloured pieces.
In your child’s edible art, cut an apple into circles to make coins, use the tops of strawberries to make green trees or bushes, or finely chop fresh fruit to look like confetti or fireworks.
Encourage your child to eat fruit rather than punish them
Being positive rather than punitive can encourage children to eat their fruit and develop a better relationship with unfamiliar foods. It takes an average of 2.5 prompts from a parent before a child tries a new food, so use encouraging statements frequently.
Lead by example
When parents eat well, their children do the same. In fact, when parents eat fruits and vegetables for dinner, their children are more likely to do the same. Remember, they are watching you!
It’s up to you to choose the options you think are best for your kids!
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