There are plenty of us out there who don’t like fruit. Or at least, not enough to eat it regularly. But we really need to start thinking about eating healthy. And here’s some ideas for those of us who are a little pickier than others. I myself am the pickiest eater I’ve ever met, and even I have found a few fruits I like. But it did take some searching.
Go for convenience. Try buying pre-cut fruit or individual serving packages. They’re easier to grab on the go. When you do this, steer clear of fruits with added sugars. If you’re choking down the fruit you may as well make it worth it, right?
Get the kids involved. Most kids will resist eating fruit. But you can make them part of the process and hopefully encourage them to eat some fruit. Take them shopping with you. Offer them a choice of fruits and let them decide which one they’d like. You can also decorate their plates with fruit slices. Even try making a smiley face with sliced banana eyes, a raisin nose, and an orange slice for a mouth! And if they’re really against fruit, cut up some berries and use it as a topping on ice cream or frozen yogurt.
Learn what to buy. Be sure to buy fresh fruits when they’re in season. This is when they’re usually less expensive and at their peak flavor. Also stock up on dried, frozen, and canned fruits (in water or 100% juice rather than syrup) so there’s always a supply in your pantry. While fruit juices are beneficial, whole or cut-up fruit is more nutritious.
TIP: Vary your fruit choices. Fruits have different nutrient content. Bananas are high in potassium while pomegranates are high in antioxidants. Make many fruits a part of your diet to benefit from their healthy qualities.
Make substitutions. Swap out your afternoon soda for ½ a cup of 100% juice. It’ll get you an extra serving of fruit. And if you’re really dependent on your caffeine, start by adding the fruit juice rather than just substituting. And those times you hear “Mom, I’m hungry” is a perfect opportunity to offer your kids raisins or other types of dried fruit instead of candies. Also pack a juice box in your child’s lunch instead of soda.
Eat more colors. This is an easy way to remember to eat healthy. Fruits are colorful, so just remind yourself and your kids to add color to their diet. Red can be apples or strawberries. Orange is rather obvious! Yellow could be lemons, bananas, or apples. Green is apples again as well as grapes and avocadoes. Blueberries come next. Purple grapes and raspberries round out the rainbow. This is just the beginning of adding color. Papayas, pomegranates, grapefruit, melons, pineapples, pears, and other berries are great options as well.
Add a fruit tree in the back yard. Okay, maybe we're biased, but how can you resist fresh fruit right at your fingertips?
Watch out for How to Get Picky Eaters to Eat Fruit Part 2 coming on Monday!
Image courtesy of Camille Wellard at http://www.makoodle.com/rainbow-fruit-tray/