You hear a lot about getting kids to eat their veggies. What about fruit? Fruit may not be quite so unappealing to kids. Still, they pretty much ignore it. When my kids were small, I always bought lots of fruits and veggies. Problem is, half of them went bad before they were eaten. That is, until I started using the following clever tricks.
Keeping a fruit bowl on the table encourages spontaneous snacking. Put quick easy to eat fruit like apples and bananas in a bowl where kids can help themselves. Once I started doing this, the bonus was the kids didn’t bug me about snacks anymore. They just learned to check the bowl. It also kept them from resorting to eating unhealthy snacks.
Slice it for them. Cut up fruit gets eaten faster than fruit kids have to peel or slice. After a while, the kids got sick of the easy to eat fruit in the bowl. Plus, all the hard to eat stuff like pineapples and watermelon still went to waste. So I started cutting up the more high maintenance fruits. I would leave containers of them in the fridge where they were highly visible.
Make an after school fruit plate. Sometimes the kids would still bug me about what snacks were available. My solution? Every day, just before they got home from school, I would make a fruit plate and leave that on the table. Sometimes I added a few slices of cheese, some pickles, olives or veggies to the plate. When I was at work all day, I left the plate in the fridge for them.
Serve fruit with a healthy dip. Kids love anything they can dip. It makes snacking fun. Sometimes I put a small bowl in the center of the fruit plate. I filled it with things like peanut butter, yogurt or cream cheese blended with fruit or veggies. In order to have the dip, they needed the fruit to dip in it. It was only slightly sneaky, bu it worked.
Incorporate fruit into meals. Want kids to eat more fruit? Put it in their dinner. Fruit can be used in soups, sauces and salads just like veggies. One of my kids favorite salads was made with spinach, oranges, raspberries and whatever other veggies we had. When we had desserts, I tried to make sure they were sweetened with fruit, not sugar. We made a lot of smoothies with frozen fruit too. It was a great ice cream substitute.
Getting kids to eat their fruits and veggies isn’t complicated. You just have to make them maintenance free and readily available.
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