Creative Ways To Get Your Kids To Eat Fruit
If you struggle to get your children to eat more fruits and veggies, you know that it can be frustrating. Here are a few clever ways to help ease the drama with fruits.
Take Small Steps
It takes time to adjust to foods.
Sometimes it seems like you are facing a battle as a parent; it happens every day, three or more times a day. Trying to get your children to eat a balanced, varied, and whole diet can be extremely difficulty – especially when they get into a “mac and cheese or nothing” phase or “I only want PB&J.” These foods are fine once in a while, but how do you get your children to eat the foods – fruits and vegetables – that will help them grow healthy and strong? Here are five ways to get your kids to eat more fruit. They’ll even like it!
Do you struggle to get your kids to eat fruit?
It's okay to admit it if you do.
Eat Fruit Yourself
It really can be that easy.
This happens to every parent in the world; you ask the kids if they want a snack. They say no. You get one for yourself, settle down, and in they come. What you eat is always better than what they eat. This is why some kids want to eat off your plate – even when the food is the exact same on their plate. While this can get irritating, use it to your advantage when trying to get your children to eat more healthy foods.
Increase your fruit intake
Kids also like it when their fruit is cut up; so to entice them into trying organic fruit, cut some up for yourself, put it on a plate, start to eat, and wait for them to come. It may not work every time, but it will often enough to get fruit into your children.
They also learn by your example, believe it or not. So if you are more likely to reach for an apple from the fruit basket than a bag of chips from the cupboard, they will adopt those habits as well. Not every time, but often enough.
Serve It With Something
Add it to something they already like.
Cut up some apple slices and serve them with a caramel dip or peanut butter. Have a plate of fruit and a bowl of plain or vanilla yogurt for dipping. Make some chocolate-dipped bananas and freeze them or make chocolate-covered strawberries for a treat.
When you pair fruit with the foods kids already like, you have a better chance at enticing them to try it. Kids respond to kid-size and kid-friendly foods.
Have a little container for their fruit and an individual container for dip, like you would get at a restaurant or store. This really does make a difference.
Make It Seem Like a Treat
They do like treats, don't they?
“Who wants a banana?” may not elicit an enthusiastic response, but “Who wants a popsicle?” will.
Try the following recipe from BusyCooks.About.com:
- 6 oz frozen fruit juice concentrate
- 3 cups cubed cantaloupe, other melon, raspberries, strawberries, peaches, or mangoes
- 10 paper drink cups
- 3/4 cup water
- 10 popsicle sticks
In a blender, mix the fruit juice and fruit until smooth. Fill each of the cups with 1/3 of the mixture, and pop them in the freezer for about an hour. When they are partially frozen, insert the wooden sticks and freeze. When they’re ready, just peel the cup away and enjoy. There is a little added sugar from the fruit juice, but they are still getting the benefits of healthy fruit. Smoothies are another kid-friendly idea.
Sneak It In
Getting sneaky is being smart.
Sometimes, you just have to be tricky. Parents know that they sometimes have to sneak veggies into pizza sauces or spaghetti, and you can do the same thing with fruit.
This recipe from Delish.com, is made with no added sugar and less oil than traditional cookies.
Just don’t tell your children that they have unsweetened applesauce in them.
- 1 cup flour
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon baking soda
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ nuts, optional
- 1 cup raisins – if your kids won’t eat raisins, skip them.
- 1 cup applesauce
- 2 eggs
- ½ cup vegetable oil
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat your oven to 375 degrees. Start by mixing the dry ingredients in a large bowl, and the wet ingredients in a smaller bowl. Add the wet to the dry and blend them. Spoon the dough onto greased cookie sheets and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. This is a good way to get some fruit into dessert.
Don't stop at a refusal, offer next time too.
Try and try again. Research shows that children’s food intake and preferences is related to the foods the parents make available to them, not necessarily to the foods they like immediately. If you present a new fruit, and your child does not like it after a bite or two, fine. No big deal at all. Try a week later. Keep introducing foods to your child, even if he doesn’t like them at first. The exposure to and variety of fruit is essential.
Try these methods of introducing more fruit to your children. Then tackle veggies!