You already know fruits and vegetables are a necessary part of your family’s diet, but do you know why? I actually didn’t. All I knew was produce contained goodies that our bodies need to keep us healthy and strong.
Although I try to serve my kids the recommended value of fruits and vegetables each day, I could be doing a much better job. The truth is, when parents don’t make fruits and vegetables an integral part of their family’s diet, kids grow up with less and less of what their bodies need to reach their full potential. Science totally backs this up! The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported results from a Minnesota study that found from middle to high school, students decreased their daily consumption of fruits and veggies by about one serving (about one-half cup). Friends, that’s just not nearly enough.
Now that we understand why fruits and veggies make such a difference in our children’s health, you may be wondering how to encourage them to eat more.
Try the following parent-approved tips for encouraging your child to consume more fruits and veggies for a lifetime of better health:
- Add dip [source]: Little fingers just love having something to dip into. Try a variety of fun dips paired with finger-friendly fruits and veggies for snack and mealtime fun.
- Offer variety [source]: It’s no secret that kids get bored pretty easily. A new and exciting variety of fruit and veggie choices is the best way to not only encourage your child to consume more but to expand their food profile. Offer a variety of fruits in a fresh fruit salad, or fruit cups!
- Offer familiar foods in new ways: There’s nothing that says apples need to be eaten whole or in traditional slices. Try serving apples in fruit squeezers instead! Dried fruits are also a fun way to present familiar fruits in in creative new ways.