Getting your kids to eat a healthy, well balanced diet isn’t always easy. If you find your child rebelling every time you suggest a piece of fruit instead of chips or crackers, you may need to change up your game plan. The trick to adding more fruit to your child’s diet is to make fruit consumption appealing and easy. Try these four fun fruit solutions to add more fruit to your child’s diet.
Play With Your Food
Take a cue from pancake restaurants and decorate your child’s morning meal with fruit. This tip works with almost any breakfast item: Decorate pancakes and waffles with fresh berries and yogurt, toast with peanut butter and slices of banana, and oatmeal with fresh or dried apples, peaches and raisins. If your child is a budding artist, simply cut up the fruit and let her have the fun of making her own decoration. Just make sure she knows that, if she chooses to place the fruit on her plate, she must place it in her mouth, too. You’ll be surprised at her newfound interest in fruit!
Freeze Your Assets
Kids love frozen pops, and there’s no need to spend extra money on the store-bought variety when you can make your own fruity options. Simply pour your child’s favorite 100-percent fruit juice into a mold or ice cube tray, set Popsicle sticks or toothpicks in the center, then freeze. Whenever your child is craving something sweet, just pull out a frozen pop for him.
For slightly more creative frozen fruit pops, try the following:
- Blend whole bananas with berries and 100-percent fruit juice before pouring the mix into the molds; the result will be a deliciously fruity smoothie-pop.
- Spear halved bananas with Popsicle sticks. Dip each banana into an ice cream topping such as caramel or chocolate sauce, then roll the banana in crushed nuts or coconut shavings. Place the banana pop onto waxed paper before putting it in the freezer. In a few hours, your kids will have a great-tasting fruit treat!
Satisfy a Cookie Monster
When serving melon, pineapple or other fleshy fruits, try cutting the fruit into quarter- or half-inch-thick slices along the fruit’s length. Lay the fruit slices flat, then allow your child to use cookie cutters to cut out fun fruit shapes. Transfer the “cookies” to your child’s plate, then let her add low-fat whipped cream as icing.
Offer Easy Options
If you really want to make fruit the go-to option for your child, create a snack drawer or shelf in your fridge from which he knows he’s allowed to eat. Place boxes of raisins or single-serving bags of apple slices, orange sections, half-and-half mixes of nuts and dried cranberries, and any other child-friendly fruit options into the snack zone. Whenever your child asks for a snack, allow him to pick a single item out of the snack zone. He’ll feel empowered because he got to decide what to eat, and you’ll feel good knowing that he’s eating a serving of fruit.