Summer is around the corner, and there is no better time of year for enjoying fresh fruits and vegetables. Between juicy melons and colorful berries, the season offers something for even the pickiest eaters. But even in the summer, getting children to eat enough fruit can be a challenge.
Only 2% of American children meet the CDC’s recommended targets for fruit and vegetable intake, according to the website of the Fruits and Veggies – More Matters initiative. And while vegetables can sometimes be a hard sell, most children actually enjoy eating fruit. Here are five tips for encouraging them to eat more of it.
1. Serve children the fruits they like, even if it is at the expense of variety. There is no reason why kids who love bananas shouldn’t have one every day. Eventually, parents can add variety by combining a favorite fruit with new ones.
2. Fruit can be eaten at any time of day as a snack, and not just as a dessert. Consider serving fruit to kids with breakfast, as an after-school snack, or even in a salad with dinner.
3. Set a good example. It is well established that children tend to imitate their parents’ behavior, particularly at mealtimes. So parents should set the example by eating plenty of fruit themselves.
5. Provide easy access to fruit. Keep a bowl of fruit on the kitchen table and allow kids to help themselves. For children who enjoy eating fruit, sometimes the best way to boost their intake is simply to remind them to eat it when they’re hungry.