Children have very specific likes and dislikes. This is especially true when it comes to foods, particularly fruits and vegetables. Some children seem to refuse to eat anything that is considered “healthy.” It can become a challenge to make sure our children get the nutrition they need. Feeding them the five fruits and vegetables kids love to eat is a good start.
Oranges, tangerines, lemons, limes, and grapefruit – they all contain vitamin C, important so that bodies can make collagen, a protein that helps support organs and the components of our circulatory system. It also strengthens the immune system.
Many children avoid citrus fruits because they are difficult to peel and eat. Parents can peel oranges and tangerines, providing ready to eat segments to their kids. Also, juice from lemons and limes can be added to water for a refreshing drink. Add a bit of honey and crushed ice if your children do not like the tart taste. Additionally, try making a syrup of honey and citrus juice for summertime smoothies.
Kids love corn, especially on the cob with butter. Although slightly higher in calories than other vegetables, corn is a good source of B-complex vitamins and also has healthy amounts of copper, iron, zinc, magnesium – important minerals. Try cornbread or corn tortillas as healthy alternatives to bread.
Apples come in many varieties and forms. There are sweet apples, tart apples, apples for eating out of hand and for cooking. You can use them in desserts, as a side dish sweetened with sugar and cinnamon, or make apple pie. Additionally, there is apple sauce, apple butter, and dried apples. You may need to try various apple varieties and types of apple dishes in order to find your child’s preferences.
Children who claim not to like carrots need to be introduced to new ways to eat them. Some very young children do not like raw carrots as they hurt their teeth. If this is the case with your child, try cooking them. However, most children do not like “mushy” food, so be careful not to overcook – steaming works well. Carrots also pair well with other vegetables, so if your child likes a particular vegetable, pair the carrots with their favorite.
Should your child like raw carrots, cut them in thin strips to avoid difficulty eating them. They’re great for dipping into sour cream and for scooping up hummus.
The difficulty some children have enjoying grapes arises from having a bad experience eating either sour or overripe grapes. The best way to make sure your children eat and enjoy grapes is to clean them thoroughly and remove them from the stems
Often, the way our children respond to a new experience is the way it is presented. Considering such things as your child’s favorite colour, how they respond to texture, and previous likes and dislikes will help you discover how to introduce these and other fruits and vegetables into your child’s diet.