It’s common knowledge in today’s world that we should all be eating at least 5 items of fruits and vegetables each and every day! That means we should be having at least 5 servings of fruit or vegetables each day, but how do you actually do that, especially if you have children who would prefer to tuck into a huge bag of chips?
Why should you be eating more fruit and vegetables?
There are many reasons why you should be including as much fruit and vegetables in your diet as possible. Fruit and vegetables contain high levels of fiber, antioxidants, health improving minerals, vitamins as well as beneficial flavonoids. Fruit and vegetables are low in calories and can help to protect you from cancer, heart disease and high cholesterol, all of which are widespread complaints in the modern world.
How to include more Fruit and Vegetables in your Family’s Diet.
Most people, including my own family, would generally prefer to snack on convenience and junk food instead of sitting down to a big plate of steaming broccoli! But there’s no need to worry, because here are some great ways that you can ‘sneak’ more fruit and vegetables into your family’s diet!
- Start each day with a delicious fruit smoothie! Breakfast is the most important meal of the day and it’s great for your health to include fruit in the first meal of your day. Simply put some items of fruit, such as strawberries and a banana, into a blender with some fresh organic yogurt and some ice cubes. Blend them up and you immediately have a tasty snack to get your day off to a fantastic and healthy start! If you want to make your smoothie even more delicious you can replace the yogurt with a spoonful of ice cream so your kids will just love it that much more!
- When you are making sandwiches for your family, including sandwiches for your kids to take to school, you can add some fruit and vegetables! If you’re making a turkey sandwich then top it off with some fresh salad leaves, tomatoes and cucumber. For a peanut butter sandwich you can add some sliced strawberries, apple or banana which tastes very good and is far more healthy as well.
- Dried fruit is a great snack that can be enjoyed throughout the day by your whole family. Add a small carton of dried fruit, such as raisins, to your children’s lunchbox or some yogurt covered raisins to your husband’s briefcase and keep some in the cupboard at home for snacking in the evenings.
- If you present healthy food in an attractive way it will be more of a treat! Try setting out a nice selection of salads, cheeses, croutons and a range of salad dressings to create a mouthwatering salad bar. Enjoy this as an accompanying side dish with your evening meal.
- As the old saying goes, ‘a little bit of sugar helps the medicine go down’! For your dessert why not put a scoop or two of ice cream or frozen yogurt in a bowl and top it with a generous handful of fruit! It tastes wonderful and you’ll feel like you’re eating in a restaurant.
- Let your children drink their fruits and vegetables! You can keep a selection of fruit and vegetable juices in the fridge while encouraging your kids to rehydrate with these healthy alternatives to soda.
- Changing your children and family’s perceptions of fruit can have a huge impact on their eating habits. Offer fruit as a tasty snack, instead of a chore, and try to always have an interesting selection of fruit in the house. Watermelons, strawberries, oranges and kiwi fruit are all delicious and make the perfect afternoon snack.
- When you are buying fruit try to buy exotic, interesting and new fruit whenever you can. Take your children to farmer’s markets and raise their curiosity about the amazing seasonal offerings of nature! Star fruit, papaya and mangoes are super tasty and fun to try for the first time!
- Make a big pot of vegetable stew that is mostly vegetables with a bit of meat. You can use stock for some extra flavor but it’s a great thing to have in the freezer as a comfort food for when the weather gets a bit colder.
- You can make things fun by playing games like ‘My Veggie Day’, where your children take it in turns to pick the vegetable of the week, but only if they tried all the vegetables the week before! Making it into a game will particularly help younger children get used to the tastes of fruit and vegetables and become more involved in a new healthy diet!
Supercharge your Family’s Diet.
By incorporating these new ideas into your weekly routine, you will have your family eating more fruit and vegetables in no time! The massive health benefits of eating more fruit and vegetables will last a lifetime, and especially with your children, good habits can mean the difference between a long and healthy life and a short sickly one! Eating more fruit and vegetables, and making it fun, interesting and tasty, will inculcate great habits in your family and children, give them the minerals and vitamins that their body needs and brighten up your fridge with the huge variety of fruits and vegetables on offer in the modern interconnected world!