Here’s How To Get Kids To Eat Their Five-A-Day
When it comes to trying to get your children to finish their greens, eat something other than pizza and chips or having to resort to bribery to get them to clear their plate, you aren’t alone. Studies have shown that mealtimes are increasingly becoming a battle between parents who are desperately trying to get healthy, nutritious vitamins and minerals into their kids and children who would rather eat endless biscuits. Despite healthy eating campaigns, state funding and reduced junk food advertising one in three children still aren’t getting enough fruit or vegetables into their diet.
As soon as your children are able to eat solid food, it’s time to introduce fruit and vegetables into their daily diets. Firstly, kids need a whole range of foods to grow, as well to develop their motor skills, mental capacity and being able to have enough energy to get through a busy, play-filled day. Encouraging healthy eating habits now means a lower risk of heart disease, obesity, and diabetes later as well as having better teeth, skin and hair. They aren’t going to get
vitamins B, C, K, or D from a bar of chocolate, so it really is never too early to introduce them to small amounts of easy to munch food. Cucumber, carrots, tomatoes, apples, oranges and strawberries are all quite attractive, a good way to entice your child to eat something new is to mix it in with food they love or carve fruit and veggies into cute, child-friendly shapes.
Lots of kids don’t enjoy the feel, or texture of certain fruits and veggies however you can get around that by whizzing up healthy fruit smoothies each morning. Kids aren’t a fan of bits in fruit so take a look at the best immersion blenders in order to find one that’ll pulp down everything into a smooth, delicious tasting liquid. Smoothies still count as one of your five-a-day, as well as being fun alternatives to fruit juice. Experiment with different flavor combinations and don’t be afraid to mix up fruit and veggies either, banana, cucumber, mango and raspberry smoothies taste great and will help with their concentration too.
Plate It Up
Well-meaning parents have a habit of piling their kid’s plates much higher than they need to and the results aren’t always pretty. For starters, any child is going to shy away at what they perceive to be a mountain of food! Balanced plates should have a small amount of protein, be it fish, chicken or beef, around sixty, to seventy grams of fruit and veg, starchy foods like pasta, rice or bread, a form of dairy, such as cheese or yogurt and even healthy fats and carbohydrates.
Control their portion size by purchasing kid-friendly plates or by speaking to a nutritionist about how much you need to give your five-year-old. For example, while you might think it doesn’t matter how much salad kids have it does! Typically, a child’s daily fruit and veg intake should consist something like one medium banana, a few of slices of cucumber, five grapes, six small tomatoes and a handful of peas or sweetcorn.