In our house, veggies and fruits are just part of our daily habit. I know that parents struggle with making sure that their kids get enough of these important anti-oxidant-filled goodies though, so I thought I’d share a few strategies that we use to tempt our kids with fruits and vegetables.
Offer Fruits Often
When children are playing they just want to grab a quick bite and go back to the fun. I’m home with the kids all day, so when I get up, after fixing breakfast, I put fruit and popcorn on the kitchen table. I leave it out for a few hours each morning before lunch. When we eat lunch, I put it back in the refrigerator. Around 2pm, I bring the fruit back out until supper. What you’re seeing above is on our kitchen table all day long, save meals. We go through 4 lbs of grapes, 2 lbs of baby carrots, 4 lbs strawberries, 2 lbs blueberries, 12 oranges, and 24 apples each week, just from snacks. Because they’re full of fruits and veggies, they rarely ask for the bad snacks that their friends are eating.
Pair Fruits with Salty Snacks
Whole wheat goldfish, tortilla chips, toasted almonds, and popcorn are nice and salty, and they encourage you to eat something wet as an accompaniment. Whenever we serve these, we usually offer up fruit. I’d still suggest you look for low salt options, because they’re still salty enough to cause you to yearn for a high-water content pairing.
Dips Aren’t Always Bad
For really picky eaters, try pairing the fruit or veggies with yummy dips. Apples and celery are perfect pairings to peanut butter. Strawberries, peaches and blueberries are yummy alone, but add Lite Cool Whip to dip and you’ve got a delicious dessert. Sugar free chocolate pudding is so yummy with bananas, and the vanilla pudding or yogurt goes great with any fruit. Ranch dressing and veggies are a particular favorite of my children. Guacamole and carrots are to die for!
If all else fails, smoothies are a favorite of most children. My fav smoothie is similar to the Jamba Juice ‘Peach Perfection’. I put about 1/2 bag frozen peaches and 4-6 frozen strawberries in the blender. Add enough orange juice to cover half-way, and fill the rest of the way (to almost cover fruit) with water. Blend and serve. Makes 4 small servings or two monster adult portions.
Another good smoothie is merely vanilla yogurt+your favorite fruit. Add a banana to any smoothie if you like them thick and creamy. Smoothies are super easy and nutritious. They can be a tad expensive though, so feel free to read how I save money on fruit and yogurt.