How Can We Get Children to Eat More Vegetables and Fruit?
Here are some ideas for supplementing intakes(1, 2):
- Add colour to the diet! Each of the pigments that give vegetables and fruits their colour (red, orange, yellow, green, purple, white…) contains active substances (phytonutrients) that are very beneficial for the body.
- Have alternate textures integrated into a dish or as a side dish: cooked, raw, frozen, fruit sauce, puree, soup…
- Multiply the varieties according to the seasons: cabbage, broccoli, salad, peach, apple, pear, or berries… ideal to satisfy all palates.
- Include whole, sliced, or stewed fruit in each snack, rather than juices or fatty and sweet products, to increase fruit and fibre intake. Preparing the snack in advance reduces the temptation to buy less nutritious options at the last minute.
Including vegetables and fruit at each meal and at snack time by varying the colours and shapes is an excellent way to maximize their benefits. Children eat with their eyes too!
(1) Canada’s pediatricians. Caring for kids. Healthy eating for children. https://caringforkids.cps.ca/handouts/healthy-living/healthy_eating_for_children
(2) Canada’s Food Guide. Eat vegetables and fruits. https://food-guide.canada.ca/en/healthy-eating-recommendations/make-it-a-habit-to-eat-vegetables-fruit-whole-grains-and-protein-foods/eat-vegetables-and-fruits/