We aim for 5 portions of fruit and vegetables each day but for fussy children this can seem unrealistic. Here are a few ideas to help your children incorporate fruit and vegetables into their meals.
- Throw raisins or sliced banana into cereal or porridge
- Make a fruit smoothie
- Make a fruit salad
- Try fruit loaves like banana bread. You can always add less sugar to these!
- Fruit scones
- Add lettuce, cucumber or tomato to sandwiches or wraps
- Add vegetable to kebabs
- Offer a dip like cream cheese, mayo or hummus with strips of carrots, cucumber or celery
- Fruit kebabs
- Vegetable kebabs
- Baked Root Veggie Chips
While most kids would turn their noses up at the mention of mashed turnips or roasted beets for lunch. Root veggies can be made quite palatable when they’re disguised as chips. Slice thin an assortment of nutritious root veggies (i.e., sweet potato, yucca, rutabaga, turnip, red and gold beets, purple and russet potatoes, and parsnips). Toss in a bowl with a bit of olive oil and sea salt. Arrange slices on an oiled cookie sheet and bake for 30-minutes at 400 degrees until crispy. These delicious baked chips make the perfect lunch side or snack.
- Send a fruit juice (125ml per day counts as a serving of fruit and fruit juice should be limited to one serving per day)
- Put a piece of fresh fruit into the lunch box. Chopping or peeling it may increase acceptance!
- Savoury muffin e.g spinach and feta
- Frozen Fruit Popsicles
With this recipe you can blend your fruit chunks into smoothies first, but they’re quite visually-appealing and colourful when the fruit is left whole. Slice an array of favorite fruits in all colours (i.e., watermelon, mango, kiwi, banana, peaches, strawberries, and blueberries). Place chunks in a popsicle mould and fill to the brim with naturally sweetened iced green tea (with honey). Cover with sticks and let freeze for 4 to 6 hours. The fruit is naturally sweet enough so there’s no need for sugary juice.
- Add lettuce, tomato and cucumber to wraps/burgers
- Blend vegetables into a puree and hide this in stews/casseroles or spagbol
- Ask them if they want, for example carrots OR peas with dinner. This sounds a whole lot better than “you WILL eat your vegetables”. When they feel like they have a choice in the matter and that their opinion matters they are more likely to eat the food. It’s a win win! They have eaten at least one veg!
- Rainbow Pizzas .
Use a whole wheat pizza dough or crust and arrange an array of vegetables in circles according to the order of the colors in a rainbow. Start on the inside with diced cherry tomatoes (or brinjal), then chopped orange pepper, a ring of sweetcorn, green pepper and finish with broccoli and red onion on the outer edge. Even better, get the kids to help make a rainbow-inspired meal for dinner!
Hope that helps!
Let us have your own ideas!