We all know that it’s very difficult to get our kids to eat more fruits and vegetables everyday. Without a doubt, it’s even more difficult to keep track of that five serving daily requirement. I mean, especially if there are just a lot of convinience and junk foods around. My husband and kids would rather fill up on a bag of chips than trying an apple or a steamed broccoli. If your family is like mine, then you will have to be more creative. Here are a few ideas to eat more fuits and vegetables in their diet.
Try breakfast smoothie
Starting the day with a smoothie is a great way to get your family to eat more fruits and vegetables. All you have to do is throw some fruits and vegetables you have on hand, low-fat yogurt and ice in a blender. If you are up for it, you could even add a scoop of protein powder. Make it even more appealing for your kids by adding frozen yogurt ice cream in the smoothie. They won’t believe that you are letting them have ice cream for breakfast. Blend for a few seconds and you have the perfect breakfast ready to go.
Add dried fruits
Dried fruit is an excellent snack any time of the day. Adding dried fruits can be a way to get people to eat more fruits and vegetables. You can add some small cartons of raisins to your child’s lunch box. Alternatively, if it’s for your oder kids or husband, pack some yogurt-covered raisins. Also keep some trail mix sitting around for snacking. You can also add dried fruit to oatmeal and cereal in the morning. My family loves raisins in their breakfast cereal.
Get your family to eat more fruits and vegetables by adding them to sandwiches. Try adding some banana, sliced apples or strawberry slices to a peanut butter sandwich. Alternatively, top a turkey sandwich with lettuce, tomato, cucumber as well as anything else they will eat. Also try making a subway shop style vegetable sandwich by combining several different vegetables with some mayonnaise and cheese on bread.
Include a salad bar
You can consider having a salad bar at dinner time to get your kids to eat more fruits and vegetables. Set out a variety of chopped vegetables, some cheese and croutons as well as several choices of salad dressing along with the lettuce and let everybody create their own perfect salad.
Juice them up
Letting the kids drink thier fruits and vegetables is a creative way for them to eat more fruits and vegetables. Keeping an assortment of fruit and vegetable juices in the fridge can encourage everyone to drink them as a snack. Get creative. You could start “family cocktail hour” by pouring everybody a glass of his or her favorite juice over ice. Add some straws, cocktail umbrellas and sit together to talk about how everybody’s day went.
Fruits for dessert
Try this for dessert. Put a small scoop of ice cream or frozen yogurt in a bowl and top it with lots of fresh or frozen fruit. Now that everyone in the family has gotten a taste for it, make sure you always have plenty of fresh fruits and veggies available and ready to snack on.
You can offer your family fruits and vegetables as snacks in a creative way. You can cut apples into slices and top them with peanut butter or cheese. Cube cheese and serve with grapes. Cut up some fresh veggies and serve them with ranch dip. And of course there’s ants on a log. Spread some cream cheese or peanut butter on the inside of a stick of celery and sprinkle raisins on it (wow, fruit and vegetable in one snack).
Engage their curiosity
Get your kids to eat more fruits and vegetables by trying out new types. Pick something exotic to get your family’s curiosity. With a little luck their curiosity will outweigh their initial apprehension to trying something new. You could try artichokes, plantains, papaya, mango, star fruit, or anything else you can find in the produce section of your local store.
Hide them in other foods
If everything else fails to get your kids to eat more fruits and vegetables, try hiding them instead. You can make chocolate brownies incorporated with a vegetable smoothie mixture and nuts. Make a pot of vegetable soup or a stew that’s heavy on veggies and easy on the meat. Both of these make some great comfort food when the weather gets cold. You can also add grated fruits and vegetables to your cupcakes or muffins.
Let them pick
Start “My Veggie Day”. Each family member gets to pick a vegetable one day of the week. They qualify to pick a vegetable as long as they tried each vegetable the week before, otherwise they lose a turn and Mom gets to pick. However make the selection process an exciting event each weak. Consider even letting them help in preparing their fruit or vegetable of choice for everyone.
Try out these ideas, and incorporate even more of your own. In no time you will get your family to eat more fruits and vegetables. Be patient with them. While it is common to set high goals, experts say that setting smaller, simpler goals could get you better results. Small steps are achievable and are easier to fit into your daily routine.