Fruits and nutrition play a crucial role in a kid’s life because they help in preventing obesity and may boost school performance. Fruits and vegetables are said to be quite beneficial for kids as they improve nutrition, decrease obesity risk and guarantee better school performance. For the same, a kid’s plate must be packed with fruits and vegetables.
The growing bodies of kids tend to require nutrition and fruits and vegetables, which feature a plethora of vitamins, minerals, and other healthy compounds. Some of the citrus fruits, including strawberries, are rich in immune system-boosting vitamin C. At the same time, carrots are rich in Vitamin A. on the other hand, spinach is said to be a fantastic source of iron that helps prevent anemia. Apples tend to feature at least 16 different polyphenols, which are antioxidants with health-promoting properties.
Fruits and vegetables are said to be high in fiber, but they have minimum fat content and calories. So, when you encourage your kids to eat fruits and vegetables instead of sugary snacks and fat-laden fast food, you can help children avoid obesity.
Digestive health– Fruits and vegetables are said to have a high fiber content which helps the digestive system function properly. Often, constipation can be eased out by eating some fruits, including prunes, apricots, plums, peas, beans, and broccoli. When fibers tend to pass through the digestive system, it absorbs water and expands, which triggers regular bowel movements and relieves constipation.
Better performance in school- Children who follow healthy diets tend to perform better in academic tests than children who consume fewer fruits and vegetables. A plethora of factors influence the academic performance of kids, but nutrition is an essential contributor to better school performance, as per a recent study.
Tips to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables for kids:
You need to shop with your kids and let them prepare vegetable and fruit dishes if you want them to eat a lot of fruits and vegetables. You can also consider sneaking pureed vegetables into children’s favorite foods and stock kid-level shelves in the .fridge with baggies of cut-up veggies and fruits. If your budget allows, then you must shop for organic fruits and vegetables.
- Set the right example- Your kids must learn what they live and ensure that you set the proper measures with their own food choices as parents. You cannot expect your kids to do any differently if you are routinely eating and snacking on unhealthy foods. Ensure you set the right example to get children to eat right. Above all, it requires parental self-discipline. To make a healthy choice, the parents need to offer loving and firm guidance when it comes to food choices.
- Choose healthy snacks- You need to keep a stock of healthy snacks in your house ensure it is readily available and easily accessible for children to grab. Don’t get into the habit of giving children cookies or other sugary-treats when the family meal is being prepared or is ready to be served.
- Give them necessary discipline- Typically, kids don’t like changes being made to their traditional routines, so expect children to express their dislike for newly implemented changes. Just cover it and save it for when they say they are hungry if your child adamantly refuses to eat the planned meal. Always tell your child that it is your house and not a cafe or restaurant where children say what they will or will not eat. Whenever your child is hungry, reheat the food saved and say that’s good because you saved for them.
- Try different vegetables being prepared in different ways- You need to know that vegetables can be served in raw, baked, steamed, grilled, in a salad, in juice form, stir-fried, and boiled form. You can try a different variety and in other ways until you find the vegetables that your kids love.
- Mix the vegetables in your kid’s favorite meal- You can make pasta with steamed broccoli or peas mixed in if your kid loves macaroni and cheese. You can mix real tomatoes, mushrooms, or peas and carrots into the sauce if your child loves spaghetti.
- Better Presentation- If the presentation of the meal is done well, and if the meal looks beautiful, then there is nothing that can stop the child from having good. It is a psychological fact, that the looks of the food play a huge role in luring the child to eat a certain food. Hence, work on the presentation aspect properly.
Hence you should avoid steaming or microwaving as it retains more nutrients than boiling. The older kids love to bite while the babies need mushy textures. Therefore you can give vegetables in any form your kids love.