Did you know that many American children go days without eating any fruits or vegetables? And, that an American toddler is more likely to eat french fries than vegetables on any given day?
Seeing how essential fruits and vegetables are to a child’s growth and overall health, these statistics are quite alarming. Despite your best efforts, there’s a good chance that your child isn’t getting enough fruits and vegetables on a daily basis.
Luckily, there are things you can do to make sure they hit their daily requirements. Check out this guide to learn how to make sure your kids get their daily servings of fruits and veggies.
1. Liquify It
Eating a plate full of bananas, strawberries, and spinach doesn’t sound too appetizing to most children. That’s why we suggest turning some of their fruits and veggies servings into delicious smoothies and juices.
There are thousands of kid-friendly recipes out there for smoothies and juices, so all you have to do is find one and start chopping and blending. The great thing about juices, in particular, is that they can last a while in your fridge. This means that you don’t have to do a bunch of chopping every time your kid needs a snack or a drink. Instead, just make a pitcher of juice that your kids can help themselves to throughout the week.
Also, make sure you buy a high-power blender or juicer, as this will make your job a lot easier. You can check out this guide to learn more about finding the best juicer.
2. Sneak Them In
Your kids can only handle so many plates of raw fruit and veggies before they start complaining. Therefore, we suggest sneaking fruits and veggies into meals as much as possible. For example, you can sneak servings of fruit into your kids’ morning oatmeal.
Veggies are particularly easy to sneak into meals. Here are some easy ways to add more veggies:
- Swap out the meat in your favorite spaghetti, lasagna, or chili dish
- Sprinkle veggies onto homemade pizzas
- Make eggs with veggies instead of meat
- Add veggies to your favorite soup recipes
3. Stock Up
If you have a bowl of apples sitting on the counter and a box of cookies, which one do you think your kid is going to reach for? Obviously, it’s the cookies.
To make eating veggies and fruits easier for your kids, don’t tempt them with unhealthy snacks. Have a fruit bowl on the counter and keep the fridge stocked with freshly cut veggies and fruit salads.
Also, make junk food something that’s an ‘extra special treat’, not something that you keep in the house constantly.
Use the out-of-sight-out-of-mind strategy to keep the kids from eating unhealthy foods
4. Make Eating Fruits and Veggies Fun
As we said earlier, eating fruits and veggies can feel quite dull after a while. Luckily, there are plenty of ways you can spice up their fruit and veggie snacks. For example:
- Serve frozen grapes as a dessert
- Serve celery with peanut butter and sprinkles of raisins (aka, ants on a log)
- Make fruit and veggie plates into smiley faces or other fun shapes
- Make colorful fruit and veggie plates to make them look more appetizing
5. Don’t Make Them a Punishment
If you make it seem like eating fruits and veggies is a “punishment”, your kids are going to have a very negative relationship with eating healthy. Instead, teach your kids that they’re lucky to have so many fresh fruits and veggies to choose from.
On the same token, don’t treat candies and junk food as a reward. Instead, treat these items as special celebration foods. By following these tips, your kids will be eating more fruits and veggies in no time!