The general recommendation for fruit and vegetable intake is five servings per day. The serving size depends on age, but a good rule of thumb is to get your family to consume 2-3 fruits and 2-3 vegetables each day. Does this sound difficult? With a little planning and some creativity, you can achieve this healthy goal.
Tips to Get Your Family to Eat 5 Servings of Fruits and Vegetables a Day:
- Blend fruit, and even veggies, into smoothies or popsicles. Most kids like treats that come in smoothie, milkshake, or popsicle form. Use yogurt, frozen fruit, a banana, and a handful of spinach to make a smoothie that tastes so good your kids will never guess they’re getting several servings of fruits and vegetables. Freeze into popsicle molds for a healthy frozen dessert.
- Make fruit and vegetable dippers. Some vegetables simply taste better with a little dip. You can make an easy, healthy, savory dip by mixing plain Greek yogurt with dry Italian or Ranch seasoning packets. Have fresh vegetables chopped and ready to go for snacks or meals ahead of time. Make it more fun by arranging several different colored veggies (such as carrots, celery, baby tomatoes and yellow bell peppers), and two dips (such as hummus and the yogurt Ranch dip) in a muffin tray with six cups. Kids love this fun presentation. Fruit can be more appealing when dipped as well. Try a flavored yogurt, or mix plain Greek yogurt with a little peanut butter, honey, and cinnamon.
- Create designs that appeal to kids. Take advantage of the variety of colors and shapes of fruits and vegetables to make your kids more interested in them. You can make rainbows skewers using fruits and vegetables from each shade of the rainbow. For example you can create a fruit skewer using strawberries, mini orange slices, bananas, kiwis, blueberries, and blackberries. Or have your kids make funny faces using bananas, carrots, berries, kiwis, melons or peppers. Use broccoli, olives, pineapple, a banana, tomatoes, carrots, blueberries, blackberries, strawberries, and oranges to make Sesame Street characters! This is also a great option for a child’s party or barbecue.
Fruits and vegetables provide many essential vitamins and minerals, as well as phytonutrients that provide health benefits such as reducing inflammation and preventing cancer. These healthy foods also provide fiber, which promotes healthy digestion.
Feel like you have fruits and veggies covered? Read here for ways to sneak more whole grains into your child’s diet. If you have concerns about your family’s diet, click here to find out more about North Shore Pediatric Therapy’s Nutrition Counseling program.
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