Kids get a lot of their fruit from juices, but they have less fiber than whole fruit, so Consumer Reports has some tips get your kids to eat more of the real stuff.
When your kids eat different types of fruit, it provides a variety of healthy nutrients. So, switching up the fruit you put in their lunchbox is a good thing.
For picky eaters, try these four tips to make whole fruits more appealing.
One, let them pick. Whether at the store or a farmer's market, children are more likely to try something new if they choose it themselves.
Two, make it irresistible. Pack fruit in an interesting way - sliced and packed in a cute container, or kebab them!
Kids are more likely to try a new fruit when it's with something they already enjoy.
"It's a good idea to mix it up. Especially if kids like one fruit over another, combine bananas with blueberries, or apples with pears," said Ellen Klosz, Consumer Reports Nutrition Expert.
Three, fruit is so much more fun in a fresh smoothie, made with low-fat or fat-free milk or plain yogurt. And there's an added benefit to eating blended fruits.
"Smoothies are better than drinking juice because you get the fiber that's in the fruit," said Klosz.
Four, a good rule is "Fruit first." Before allowing candy, chips, or other less-than-healthy snacks, urge them to have some fruit first.
Chances are the urge for the first snack will subside.
And maybe the most important way to get your kids to eat more fruit, is by setting the example yourself.
Here's what you want to aim for:
Kids under 4, 1 cup a day
Kids 4-13 1.5 cups a day
kids 14-18 2 cups a day
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Consumer Reports: Tips to get your kids to eat more whole fruit