Your children may not be very interested in fruit and vegetables either. But fruit and vegetables are part of a healthy and balanced diet, and you should be getting kids to eat fruit. It is therefore worth trying to make these foods tasty for the little ones.
Why vegetables and fruit are so important to children?
Just like adults, children need vegetables and fruit to provide themselves with sufficient vitamins and nutrients. Since they are still growing, young eaters need to consume at least five servings a day. One portion is roughly equivalent to what fits in your child’s hand – for example, an apple, a handful of berries, or a tomato.
It is important considering that your child’s sense of taste has yet to develop. Little boys and girls naturally love sweets – because sweet-tasting plants attract children. On the other hand, they rarely like bitter and sour foods. You will therefore have to get them used to the taste of some fruit and vegetables first. If they do not do this, there is a high probability that they will have problems eating enough fruit in adulthood too. Therefore, for healthy development, you should be getting your kids to eat fruit and vegetables in a playful and unconstrained manner.
Serving fruit for children
Children rarely consider taking an apple out of the fruit basket or eating the vegetables on their lunch plate; mostly, they refuse to eat fruit. In the vast majority of cases, parents have to encourage their offspring to give vitamin suppliers a chance. This works best if you arrange fruit and vegetables for children in a way that looks playful and fun to eat.
Buy fruit together
Visit a weekly market or a fruit store with your children. Browse the store with your children and check out the fruits there. Talk to the children about these new weird fruit. The children are sure to see a lot of new fruit that they have not seen before. You may Ask the fruit vendor whether the children can feel the fruit with their hands and sniff them. Fruit vendors often offer the children small pieces to try. Also, buy fruit that is interesting for your child. Most probably, without getting your kids to eat fruit, they will already be interested in testing and eating that fruit.
You can get your children to eat by attracting their attention with decorated fruit. For example, use special shapes, different colors, or make something out of fruit. For you, this means: getting creative.
You can cut hearts, stars, or other beautiful shapes out of soft fruit or cucumber slices with cookie molds. You will need a bit of skill to carve vegetables into animal figures or cars for children. A simple trick is to create a face out of fruits – for example, with tomato slices as eyes and a pepper slice as a mouth.
Mix it up
If you don’t have that much time, you might get your children interested in eating fruit with a colorful fruit salad or bite-sized vegetable. Many children have less aversion to fruit and vegetables when mixed into a tasty smoothie or milkshake – or when you puree them into vegetable soups and sauces.
Involve children in the preparation
Many children are quite interested in what their parents are doing in the kitchen. This is a good thing because the more your children deal with food, the more likely it is to getting your kids to eat fruit and lose the fear of trying it. So if you are preparing vegetables or fruit for your children, let them help. Even smaller children can help out with cutting softer fruit varieties. If your offspring has made their food, they will try it out of pride. Even after chopping vegetables that are usually rather unloved, your child may still reach for a piece or two.
Turn fruit meals into exciting adventures
Offer the toddlers a fruit round in the morning or the afternoon. Make their snack round a healthy and at the same time exciting adventure by telling them stories about a character they find exciting, like SpongeBob, Totally Spies, or Pocoyo.
From now on, this character only likes the fruit on the plate. He had enough chocolates, biscuits, and cakes because they gave him a huge stomach ache. Therefore, the new favorite food is “magic fruit.”
Look for exciting names for the fruit together, names that linguistically fit your children. For example, pineapple could be a beautiful palm fruit. And Grapes put on a skewer become green sea snakes, which Captain Sharky devours.
This approach requires a lot of imagination from you, but it will be worth it. The toddlers will have so much fun with the fruit and will develop their creative ideas over time.
For stubborn fruit refusers
There are always toddlers who, despite all your commitment, do not eat the smallest piece of fruit. They stubbornly refuse even to try a scrap.
Do not get these children to eat fruit with force and avoid any discussion. Because in this way, you promote the aversion to fruit rather than a positive connection to it. Always offer the fruit to the toddler with kindness.
Offering the children a variety of opportunities to get to know different types of fruit in all their characteristics encourages them to discover the fruit with all their senses. This is how you lay an important foundation for a healthy diet.