The nutrients essential for a developing body can be found in fruits and vegetables. They contribute to the average growth of the central nervous system, skeletal system, ocular apparatus, and skeletal muscles.
Children's palates and eating habits develop at a rapid rate while they are still young. As a result, it's a fantastic time to get children to consume more fruits and veggies. In addition to providing a healthy dose of vitamins, minerals, and fibre, fruits and vegetables can make tasty snacks and side dishes.
It may be challenging for children to eat the daily recommended portions of vegetables and fruits. Here are five different approaches you may take to encourage your children to consume more fruits and vegetables in their diet.
1. Serve Fruits and Vegetables With Everything
It's essential to serve fruits and vegetables in every meal. When foods are served separately instead of in meals, children are more likely to say "no" to fruits and vegetables.
For example, if your child eats eggs, bacon, and pancakes for breakfast, serve some fresh sliced fruit to go with it. If your family has spaghetti and meatballs, serve green beans as a side dish. If you're making chicken fingers with fries, serve some tomatoes and carrot sticks.
2. Sneak Them Into Favorite Dishes
Your children may not want to eat a bowl of peas on their own, but they may be hungry enough to dig into a big bowl of macaroni and cheese. Another way to add healthy foods into your children's diet is to join forces with their favourite dishes.
For instance, your children may enjoy cheese pizza and apple slices, so try adding a few pieces of apples to their pizza. Another idea? How about spaghetti, applesauce, or a sweet potato instead of a traditional potato salad?
3. Add Them to a Smoothie
Fruits and vegetables added to smoothies make it the perfect option for kids who are picky eaters. Ingredients like milk, yoghurt, frozen berries, banana, and even zucchini are blended to create a fruit and veggie-packed smoothie.
Another benefit to smoothies is that they can be made ahead of time and packed in iced containers. This is good news for mornings when you're in a rush and after school, when you're worn out from a busy day.
4. Enhance the Plating
Children are drawn quickly to fun shapes and vibrant colours on their plates. Adding a variety of fruits and vegetables with different shapes and colours can make them more appealing.
It often takes a child's plate to be prettier for them to eat. This is because we're trained to associate food presentation with taste. If a child sees a colourful plate of food, it's more likely that they will eat it.
5. Play the “If You Eat It” Game
Using your child's favourite foods and favourite characters, like Spiderman or Barbie, as inspiration can encourage them to eat more fruits and vegetables. You may tell your child, "If you eat three servings of fruits and veggies, then you can have an extra hour of playing time."
Additionally, you can provide incentives like stickers on a chart or a child-friendly reward for every meal if your child eats a certain amount of fruits and vegetables.
The Bottom Line
Vegetables and fruits are essential for a child's growth and development. They help a child grow and reach their highest potential. That's why you must provide your child with various fruits and vegetables at every meal.
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