Getting your kids to eat what you want them to is oftentimes a challenge. “Healthy” doesn’t matter to them so much as “delicious.” Luckily, most children enjoy different types of fruit, because they’re mostly very sweet. Children ages 2-3 should eat one cup of fruit daily. Children ages 4-8 should eat one-and-a-half cups of fruit daily. Children ages 9-13 should eat two-and-a-half-cups of fruit daily. But what if your child doesn’t want to?
Here are some easy, creative ways to get sneak fruit into their diet.
Kids love smoothies, and you can get them to drink their entire daily fruit intake in one small glass of a smoothie for breakfast. Just put the fruit of choice into a blender, and voila!
Cut fruit into different shapes, using cookie cutters if desired. Watermelon slices, kiwi slices, and apple slices are great choices for turning into stars or hearts. You can then “frost” the fruit “cookies” with a little bit of plain, low-fat yogurt. Your kids will love to help “bake” and eat them.
In many recipes, you can replace the sweetener or half of the oil with applesauce. This is often done for people with allergies, and it’s a great way for you to get your kids to eat some apples.
Kids love to dip their food into things, so create some fruit-infused dips for them to eat as a snack. Mix chopped tomatoes and sour cream for dipping tortilla chips. Mix banana, yogurt, and peanut butter to dip graham crackers. Get creative, and your kids will enjoy the cool combos.
Barbecued fruit is, believe it or not, delicious, so try using it as a way to get fruit into your kid’s diet the next time you’re cooking on the grill. Create kabobs with pineapples and chicken. Experiment with adding other fruit, like oranges and kiwi fruit.
Fruit for Dessert
If you are really having a hard time getting your child to eat fruit, turning it into dessert is something that just might do the trick. For dessert, cook baked apples. You can also add fresh fruit to vanilla ice cream. Try cooking a batch of jell-o and adding fruit before you freeze it.
Banana Ice Cream
Another indulgent way to ingest fruit is by making homemade banana ice cream. Unpeel several bananas, and slice them up. Place them on a metal pan, and put them into the freezer for about two hours. Then, blend the frozen bananas in a blender until you’ve achieved ice cream consistency. There’s no added sugar, and it’s delicious to eat alone or as a topping.
Not many children prefer salads over fruit, but some do! If your child is unique, add fresh fruit to their salads. For example, create a salad with balsamic dressing and sliced strawberries. Other examples are a chicken salad with mango, and a Waldorf salad with sliced apples.
If you get a little creative and make food fun for your kids, you won’t be able to keep the fruit away from them!
Caleb Grant is a freelance writer and father of three. He enjoys spending time with his family and writing parenting advice for others.