The consumption of fruits and vegetables has beneficial effects on health in the different stages of life and is due to the presence of certain substances such as antioxidants, fiber, folates, flavonoids and other phytochemicals.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a minimum of five pieces of fruit and vegetables per day because insufficient intake increases the risk of some illness such as obesity, cardiovascular diseases, some type of cancer, hypercholesterolemia and diabetes type 2, among others.
Fruits and vegetables are fundamental in the diet of children, as well as for adults since provide vitamins and minerals, are a source of fiber and antioxidants, the fat intake is minimal except for some special cases and have a high water content, which helps us to have a proper hydratation.
Remember: By choosing health-promoting foods, you can establish good nutritional habits in your child that will last for the rest of his or her life.
Many children do not consume the recommended amounts and many parents don’t know how to get kids to eat more fruit and vegetables. In this article I would like to suggest a few simple tips to encourage children to consume fruits and vegetables.
1. Be a role model. Eat more fruits and vegetables yourself. Otherwise it would be difficult because children use to imitate their parents. Try to ensoure fruit are visible in the everyday landscape, which can be achieved with the presence of a source with a good variety on the dining room table or in the kitchen.
2. Prepare funny dishes like a colourful fruit salad or place different fruit pieces into a wood stick. Provide fruits and vegetables as snacks. Keep fruit washed, cut up and in plain sight in the refrigerator. Serve salads more often. I use to wash and keep in the fridge after buy them.
3. To promote to try new fruits and vegetables should be combined with other foods. A healthy and funny choice is to prepare some smoothies. Contain fruit and leafy green vegetables. Try out vegetarian recipes for spaghetti, lasagna or other foods using vegetables instead of meat. You can see some recipes on my blog.
4. Limit or eliminate how much fruit juice you give your child and make sure it is 100% juice, not juice “drinks.” Make homemade juice mixing different fruits and see which one they prefer.
5. Promote children participation. They can help us peeling fruit and vegetables, cut them with the help of biscuit cutter, always when does not involve any risk. Ask them which fruit and vegetables fancy them. This way helps us to know better their tastes and preferences.
6. Do not force, punish or reward children to eat fruit and vegetables because it will be counterproductive.
Finally remind you the importance of promoting the consumption of those fruits and vegetables that are in season and, if possible, on proximity.