Make Fruits and Veggies More Appealing
Help your kids eat right by keeping fruits and vegetables readily available and easy to access. Spend a few extra minutes when you return from the grocery store to cut up fresh vegetables and store them in clear containers in the refrigerator. Display fresh fruits, such as bananas, apples and oranges in a bowl on the kitchen counter. These simple tasks will encourage EVERYONE in your household to choose fruits and vegetables more often.
Encourage your children to eat more fruits and vegetables by creating fun ways to eat them.
- Try “Bugs on a Log” by spreading peanut butter on celery, cucumber or a carrot stick. Top it with raisins, dried cranberries or blueberries as the “bugs.”
- Blend a smoothie with fresh, frozen or canned fruit and low-fat milk or yogurt. Add a large handful of spinach and blend well for an added nutrition punch you and child can hardly taste!
- Make a healthy yogurt dip for fruits and vegetables – love to dip their food! Add herbs or garlic to plain yogurt for dipping vegetables or use low-fat vanilla yogurt for a fruit dip.
- Create fruit Kabobs using chunks of seasonal fresh produce. Try melons, grapes, apples, pears, or oranges.
- Make fruit “popsicles” by freezing strips of washed and cut melons for a refreshing snack.
- Try inserting a stick into a peeled banana, roll it in low-fat yogurt, then shredded coconut and freeze for a healthy dessert option.
- Mix your own trail mix using almonds, peanuts, cashews or sunflower seeds combined with your favorite dried fruits such as dried cherries, apples, apricots or pineapple.
Involve Kids in the Kitchen
Kids may be more willing to try new foods if they are involved in making them. Allowing kids to help in the kitchen teaches them important life skills related to healthy food and good nutrition. Involving kids in the kitchen is also a great way to develop fin motor skills in young children and practice math, science and reading skills for school-aged kids!
Here is a list of age-appropriate tasks for your young kitchen helper:
- At 2 years, they can: Pick produce from the garden, rinse fruits and vegetables.
- At 3-5 years, they can Use cookie cutters, mix ingredients, name and count foods.
- At 6-7 years, they can: Crack an egg, deseed peppers, prepare lettuce for salad, measure and mix ingredients.
- At 8-9 years, they can: Use a can opener, beat eggs, light chopping of fruits and vegetables.
- At 10-12 years, they can: follow a recipe, boil pasta or vegetables, use small appliances like a blender or food processor.