Practical nutrition tips for parents

Finding creative ways to encourage your children to eat and enjoy fruit and vegetables can be fun for the entire family. These practical tips will provide some great ideas on how to incorporate 5+ A Day into every snack and meal:

  • Let children choose which fruit and vegetables to serve and how to incorporate them into their favourite meals.
  • Eat lots of fruit and vegetables yourself. Children will model their eating habits on what they see you eat.
  • Breakfast is an important meal of the day. Try adding sliced banana, grated apple or pear to porridge or cereal. Peaches, berries and kiwifruit add great variety when in season.
  • Serve fruit and vegetables at every meal. You can add grated or cut vegetables into entrees, side dishes, pizzas and soups.
  • Keep trying: For some foods, it may take multiple times before a child acquires a taste for it.
  • Don’t force children to eat things – this will create negative associations and discourage them from trying again in the future.
  • Don’t reward your children with food.
  • Keep a bowl of fresh fruit on the counter. Refrigerate cut up fruit and vegetables in small bags for easy snacks on the run.
  • Try feeding different textures of fruit and vegetables to your child. Some children prefer smooth food, whereas others like lumpy, and some children like crisp foods, but others like soft.
  • Offer new fruit and vegetables in combination with old favourites to show your child a variety of smells, textures and colours.
  • Kids are turned off to trying new foods if the smell, flavour, or colour is not appealing to them. It may be more appealing to a child if fruit or vegetables are served raw.
  • Involve your child in shopping for fruit and vegetables and encourage them to select something new or unusual for the family to try.
  • Raise children’s interest in fruit and vegetables by growing some in your garden (or in pots). Strawberries and carrots are favourites and are easy to grow.
  • Try freezing pieces of bananas and grapes for a summer treat.