5 a Day

Children, like adults, need plenty of fruits and vegetables in their diet. The vitamins and minerals found in fruits and vegetables help children grow, develop, and fight off illness.

However, getting kids to eat enough fruits and vegetables can be a challenge. Most kids do not get the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables. So how do you get your kids to eat more fruits and vegetables without nagging them or creating a negatives experience at the dinner table? Check out these healthy tips to help incorporate at least 5 colorful fruits and vegetables into your family’s diet every day!

1. Set a good example: demonstrate to your children how eating healthy food can be fun. Buy and try new fruits and vegetables that you might not normally eat.

2. Be patient with picky eaters: provide a variety of healthy fruits and vegetables for kids to choose from at mealtimes. A child may need to be exposed to a certain food 10 to 15 times before he or she will actually eat it.

3. Plan for snacks: use fresh fruits and vegetables (carrots, celery with peanut butter, or a piece of fruit) as snacks instead of processed foods. Space snacks appropriately throughout the day to avoid spoiling your child’s appetite mealtimes.

4. Keep healthy foods handy: Display fruit on the kitchen counter, cut up vegetables and have them front and center in the fridge, and keep treat foods out of sight so that they will be eaten less frequently.

5. Limit fruit juice: Don’t rely on fruit juice to meet your child’s nutritional needs. The American Dietetic Association recommends that kids drink only one 6-ounce glass of 100% fruit juice a day. Choose fresh fruit at each meal or dried fruit as a snack instead of juice.

6. Make smoothies: use fresh or frozen fruit, yogurt, and fresh vegetable juice to make a snack packed with healthy vitamins and minerals.

7. Take your family grocery shopping: have kids pick out their favorite fruits and vegetables at the grocery store. Ask them to pick a new fruit or vegetables for the whole family to try.

8. Make delicious veggie dips: use low-fat ranch dressing, hummus, or black bean dips to encourage kick to eat more vegetables.

9. Make fruit skewers: skewer fruit on a kabob stick for a fun snack. Make a healthy fruit dip with vanilla yogurt, honey, and cinnamon to dip the fruit in.

10. Start a garden: start a vegetable garden at home and encourage your children to eat the vegetable they grow. Or visit your local farmers market and teach your children about where their food comes from.

How do you get your kids to eat more fruits and vegetables?

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