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Tips for Getting Kids to Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

Posted on Mar 20, 2009 by Maggie LaBarbera

study conducted by Ohio State University found that kids are eating about 2 cups total of fruits, vegetables and juice.  Maybe your thinking, wow, I didn't think they were eating that much!   But let's look a little closer at the facts:

  • French fries are the most common type of vegetable children eat. Fries account for about one-quarter of children's vegetable intake.
  • Juice makes up about 40% of kids' fruit intake.
  • If french fries and fruit juice had not been included in the survey data, then children would be eating far fewer fruits and vegetables
Okay, let's not get all down.   Let's focus on what we can do to help those little ones eat more vegetables and fruits.   Here are 10 ways to help the kids eat more fruits and vegetables:
  1. Keep a bowl of fresh fruits on the counter. Refrigerate cut up fruits and vegetables in small bags for easy snacks on the run.
  2. Serve fruits and vegetables at every meal. Add grated or cut vegetables into entrees, side dishes, and soups. Top off cereal with fruits or add frozen fruits to smoothies.
  3. Set a good example. Snack on fruit and order low-sodium, low-fat salads, soups, or vegetable sides when at restaurants.
  4. Pack the refrigerator, freezer and cupboard with pre-cut, frozen and canned vegetables so that it is easier for you to prepare meals and snacks that include vegetables.
  5. Challenge family members to reach their dailyf ruits and vegetable goal. Reward the winner with a prize of his or her choice.
  6. Ask that fruits and vegetables be offered at school functions, after school programs, and in vending machines.
  7. Let children choose which fruits and vegetables to serve and how to incorporate them into their favorite meals.
  8. Make fruits and vegetables fun. Try dressing up sandwiches with faces and smiles made from fruits and vegetables.
  9. Keep trying. For some foods, it may take multiple times before a child acquires a taste for it.
  10. Encourage friends or relatives to offer vegetables and fruits to your children.



Mark Salinas
Monday, Mar 30, 2009 @ 02:53 PM

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Fabulous tips! As a father of three (my wife is an RN as well) it is challenging to say the least to get the kiddies on board with the fruit and veggies! Thanks for this! :)
Cindy Cohen RN
Monday, Mar 30, 2009 @ 03:21 PM

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Maggie, I heard about you from Tim Carter on Twitter. I love what you are doing. I have been teaching health education to adults for themselves and their children for years. I have to say we have a big job, kids and their parents need all the info. they can get. Information is sometimes very confusing. One of the strategies I recommend is Juice Plus+. There is a free program for those who meet the qualifications of enrollment. Here is the info. if you would like to know more. Let me know if you would like to know how to get started. I will encourage my network to seek out your blog. Your partner in health, Cindy Cohen RN, Health Coach

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