How to increase your kids’ intake of fruits and vegetables with minimal effort

It was one of those busy days when breakfast was cold cereal and dinner was soup with grilled cheese. My daughter had refused the soup, and her lunch bag showed her container of fruit and veggies were untouched. Unless you count the banana muffin she had at snack – I don’t – she had exactly ZERO fruits and veggies that day.

As I was putting my daughter to bed, I thought about her day and the “Counting down to a healthy lifestyle,” 10-5-2-1-0 recommendations. Check out the video below to get the scoop:

There are all sorts of handy tips out there for getting our kids to eat their fruits and veggies, but as a busy working parent, I don’t have time to make cutesy looking sculptures of food just to get my kids to eat.

We visited my parents last weekend and they could not keep up with my kids’ fruit demands! My kids polished off all the bananas and apples without us even offering them! How? What was the difference, you ask?

My dad keeps their fresh fruit on the kitchen table – in full view and easily accessible to kids!

We’ve made this simple change at home. I now wash easy to eat fruit, like apples, peaches, plums, nectarines and bananas – stuff that doesn’t need a parent to cut or peel – and leave it in a bowl on our kitchen table. Honestly, I have to take the bowl away sometimes.girl reaching for fruit

Another awesome tip I’ve been using for years (and should have done the soup and grilled cheese night), is serve most meals with a plate of cut up raw veggies on the table. I eat them, but I don’t tell my kids to – I just make sure they can reach them. Sometimes they polish them off, and other times they barely pick at it, but the important thing is to offer without pressure.

Share your tips for getting your kids to meet the daily 5 (or more!) fruits and veggies a day! We love to hear from you:

For parenting information or to speak with a public health nurse (every Monday to Friday from 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.) simply dial 311 or 905-825-6000.

About Andrea Scott RN

I’m a public health nurse with the HaltonParents team – you’ll find me blogging, tweeting and answering emails. I’ve been working for the Halton Region Health Department since 2006 and my focus has been on supporting parents with babies and little kids. I have two little ones myself, “Pumpkin” and “Monkey” who give me plenty to blog about! :)
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