Among the first recommendations towards a healthy diet will definitely have a mention of fruits and veggies. This group promises not just variety and culinary applications, but also a range of nutrients. While an average Indian is recommended to consume at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day, nearly two of those must have fruits. For kids between five to twelve years of age, the National Institute of Nutrition recommends 100g of fruit per day.
India has access to some of the most affordable fruits. Improved shelf-life, packaging, processing and connectivity have also help bring a huge variety of fruits together on a plate. Nevertheless, as a country with a rapidly growing population and speeding development, India faces a constant concern in terms of food and nutritional security.
Additionally, India’s Phytonutrient Report alarms us about the low consumption trends of fruits and vegetables by the high and middle-income groups, particularly among children as compared to adults.
When it comes to fruits, it’s natural for kids to be picky and not have a particular liking for fruits. The question most probably ticking in your mind, “how to make children eat fruits and vegetables?” In an attempt to race ahead of the growing concerns in fruit consumption, here are some tips on how to get kids to eat fruits;
- Lead from the front: If you wish to see your child eat fruits, be the change you want to see. Kids pick up your habits, likings and language. So, they have their eyes on your diet too. Embrace fruits for your good and theirs. Ensure the servings/portions are right.
- Talk facts: Children have plenty of exposure as they are growing. Share why fruits are a great inclusion in terms of the benefits or why a variety is more promising.
- Play hide and seek. Try preparing mask fruits. Being part of a highly versatile food group, this surely isn’t much of a challenge. Churn them into shakes, juices, punches, or smoothies. Salad dressings are worth a try too.
- Figure out their preferences: Some fruits should be eaten raw. The whole fruits keep the fibre intact. Experiment only when you are attempting to win the acceptance of your child.
- Fresh fruits are good for kids: You can lose the nutrients by chopping the fruit. too small or much ahead of consumption. Prepare fruit-based items such as jams, jellies and juices. Label them to guide yourselves.
The benefits of kids eating fruits:
Fruits are micronutrient-rich. Most of these nutrients aid in assuring metabolism functions normally, helps in the absorption of other nutrients, prevent various diseases. Many fruits also reduce the risk of developing heart diseases, etc. in the long run.
- NIN-ICMR. Dietary Guidelines for Indians – A Manual. 2011.