Most children are picky eaters when it comes to fruits and vegetables. I have seen children reject almost all the fruits in a baby fruit basket except strawberries. On the contrary, give them the options of some junk foods or beverages and they would happily lap it up!
But, we should all be aware of the fact that having fruits is imperative to build a robust bodily constitution. Fruits are rich in vitamins, anti-oxidants, minerals, natural fibres and much more. Lack of fruit intake from a very young age can lead to a variety of vitamin deficiency diseases.
Children are in a phase of rapid bodily growth and fruits are required to provide them proper nutrients. Citrus fruits are rich in vitamin C, which boosts the immunity while banana contains iron, a mineral that prevents anaemia. Fruits also help reduce obesity in children because they are low in calories and fats and have large quantities of natural fibres that fill up the stomach and do not make them carve for junk food in between meals. Fruits also improve the digestion due to their high fibre content also because they induce digestive enzymes. Further, fruits have multivitamins that nourish the brain and helps improve cognitive abilities.
It is often challenging to make children eat fruits if they don’t want to take it down. Because children tend to be stubborn, what they do not like they do not. However, for the sake of their health, it is advisable that the parent be patient on the endeavour. To make things easy for you, here are five tips that can help you feed your child with fruits:
- Prepare Smoothies: If your child rejects whole fruits, then it is a great idea to prepare smoothies. For doing this, all you have to do is get a blender and put some milk, fruits and if required a little ice-cream, and then blend it into a great creamy smoothie. You can add applesauce in case they have an allergy to milk products.
- Allow them to imitate: Children always try to imitate adults. So, if you eat fruits yourself in front of them and behave like enjoying them immensely, they would be motivated to try it out themselves and be hooked to it.
- Add dressings: Most children do not like to eat raw fruits. In such cases, it is always advisable to prepare fruit salads with dressings. Bananas, cucumbers, peaches and fruits that your child has a distaste for can be served with yogurt, and apples taste great with almond butter.
- Break monotony: Ensure that the kids are not served with the same course of fruits every day. Variety and rotation are necessary for any diet. Having the same fruits everyday may induce predictability and make them lose interest. Try different seasonal fruits and serve fresh, avoid frozen fruits.
- As a last resort, if everything else fails, make pureed fruits and use them as fillers for sandwiches and burgers.