Fruits and veggies are essential elements of a healthy, well-balanced diet. They’re critical to healthy living, hence the need to consume them in sufficient amounts.
Studies show that eating at least 5 portions of different fruits and veggies daily has immense health benefits. A portion of fruits and veggies weighs 80g.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends consumption of at least 400g of fruits and veggies daily. This reduces the risk of developing serious health problems such as stroke, heart disease and some cancer types.
Fruits and vegetables are rich in antioxidants, dietary fiber, and vitamins and minerals, including vitamin C, folate and potassium.
A diet rich in fiber maintains gut health and prevents constipation, including other digestive issues. It also lowers the risk of developing bowel cancer.
Fruits and veggies nourish the body with essential nutrients for growth and development. They foster healthy brain development, including eyes, bones and muscles.
They’re also tasty and delicious atop being easy to prepare and serve. They make healthy side dishes and great snacks.
Eating lots of fruits and vegetables is linked to lower risk for cardiovascular diseases and cancers, including diabetes. Other health benefits of eating fruits and veggies include:
- Better cardiovascular health
- Reduced risk of cancer
- Reduced risk of diabetes
- Better vision
- Improved digestive health
- Lowers blood pressure
- Controls weight gain
Despite the health benefits of eating enough fruits and vegetables, studies show that only 1 in every 4 kids aged 6 to 11 years eat enough fruits. And, less than 20% of the kids consume vegetables daily in sufficient amounts.
It’s clear that kids have difficulty filling half of their plates with fruits and vegetables at each meal.
Eating more fruits and vegetables don’t have to be a challenge.
The taste buds and eating habits of kids grow as fast as they do, hence the best time to help them eat more vegetables and fruits.
Getting kids to try new things isn’t easy. However, they should consume two fruits servings and three vegetable servings daily, hence the 5 portions per day.
Therefore, it’s important to make fruits and veggies appealing to kids so they can eat more.
According Michigan State University Extension, here’re a few tips to help you encourage your little ones to add more color of fruits and vegetables on their plates and thus mouth:
8 Ways to Make Fruits and Vegetables More Appealing to Your Kids
1. Introduce and re-introduce vegetables at mealtime
Your responsibility as a parent is to feed your kids and theirs is to eat.
The more you introduce vegetables at mealtimes and continue to do so, the better your kids become at self-controlling their food intake. They also grow to enjoy eating various foods.
2. Serve veggies and fruits alongside their favorite meals
Fruits and vegetables are versatile, meaning your kids can eat them with almost any dish.
Consider the following:
- Use cauliflower as pizza crust, mashed potatoes, or rice
- Add zucchini noodles into pasta mix
- Fill tacos with roasted veggies and beans
- Use vegetables as “fries”
- Add grated carrots and chopped spinach to sauces and pizza
- Add veggies to pizza, tacos or spaghetti
3. Make fun presentation
Cut fruits and vegetables into fun shapes your kids love. This can get them to try more vegetables and fruits, eventually eating more.
4. Engage them in vegetable gardening and cooking
Let your kids learn where food comes from through gardening in summer. They’ll appreciate their meals and enjoy eating what they took part in nurturing.
Involve them in growing vegetables and herbs all the way to harvesting and preparing the ingredients for cooking. Engage them in the cooking process as well to make eating fruits and veggies appealing.
Work with familiar flavors and let your kids take part in preparing their meals. They’re more likely to eat when they take part in cooking.
You can use supplements to add familiar flavor to new dishes. For instance, Pruvit ketones give a familiar taste, atop adding power and effectiveness to your vegetable dishes.
Designed for low carb protein diets, supplements are a great way to obtain the health you need to live your life fully.
5. Keep changing presentation
Prepare, cook and present the fruits and veggies differently for a unique taste each time your kids eat. Oven-fry for tasty, appealing and crunchy dishes your choosy eaters won’t hesitate to eat.
What’s more, unlike deep frying, barbecuing and oven-frying use little to no added fat; this makes the meals even healthier.
6. Make the process fun
Allow your kids to choose the veggie or fruit toppings for tacos and pizza. Add various chopped fruits and veggies in a brightly-colored bowl and let them choose.
7. Prepare, cook and serve differently
Let your kids try the fruits and veggies in different forms. Prepare them using different methods to achieve varied looks and tastes. Consider serving them:
- As smoothies
8. Make eating interactive
Kids are hands-on and love to do things while eating.
Let them dip their fruit and vegetable servings in flavorful sauce or dip for interactive eating. Consider:
- Ranch dip
- Fruit salsa
- Nut butter
With these handy tips, expect your kids to enjoy eating more fruits and vegetables daily.