The month of June is National Fruit & Vegetables Month! Does your child eat enough of the good stuff? Are you looking for ways to incorporate more of this into your child’s diet? As parents, we all know that eating fruits and vegetables is important. But how do you get kids to eat more of these foods?
The new guidelines from MyPlate suggest that half of our plate should be vegetables and fruits. So, how much is needed on a daily basis?
The amount of fruit you need to eat depends on age, sex, and level of physical activity. The amount each person needs can vary between 1 and 2 cups each day. Those who are very physically active may need more. Recommended daily amounts can be found on the MyPlate table.
The amount of vegetables you need to eat depends on your age, sex, and level of physical activity. The amount each person needs can vary between 1 and 3 cups each day. Those who are very physically active may need more. Recommended total daily amounts and recommended weekly amounts from each vegetable subgroup can be found on the MyPlate table. Based on their nutrient content, vegetables are organized into 5 subgroups: dark-green vegetables, starchy vegetables, red and orange vegetables, beans and peas, and other vegetables.
Be A Role Model
As parents we need to be good role models. Let your kids see you make good food choices and eat your vegetables and fruits also. Start by serving vegetables and/or fruits often, preferably at each meal and snack.
Keep It Interesting
Vary the vegetables and fruits that you serve to keep it interesting. Try recipes that incorporate a variety of colors and tastes, herbs, spices and ethnicities to keep expanding your child’s sense of food adventure.
Buy fresh vegetables and fruits in season for lower cost and better flavor. Take your kids to a farmers market or a local farm so that they can see where foods come from. Let them help select what to buy and help prepare foods when possible. You can even grow a small garden and let children harvest their own food.
Add to Favorite Snack/Meals
Add fruits and vegetables to existing favorites:
- Topping cereal with fruit
- Adding fruit to pancakes or yogurt
- Making kabobs
- Trying apples, carrots, bananas, or celery with peanut butter or a yogurt dip
- Adding fruit such as oranges, pink grapefruit, grapes, pineapple, mango and strawberries to green salads