We’ve all heard the NHS guidelines about how five portions of fruit and vegetables are essential for kids (and grownups!) to have a healthy diet, right? Well actually, new research is suggesting that we should in fact be aiming for SEVEN portions, if not TEN!
Here at Amanda’s Action club, we’re passionate about ealthy eating, but we’re well aware that children don’t always feel the same! If the thought of trying to squeeze twice as much fruit and veg into your little one fills you with dread, don’t panic. We’ve a few great ideas to help convince even the most reluctant fussy eater that the stuff that’s good for you tastes great too!
One of the most important things to understand about the guidelines is the importance of variety in a child’s diet. Most kids have at least one or two ‘go to’ fruits that they’re happy to munch as a snack, but ideally, you should be encouraging them to try as many different fruits and vegetables as possible and mixing them up on a daily basis.
With that in mind, why not try creating a chart of all the differently coloured fruits and veggies you can think of? (red tomatoes, orange peppers, yellow sweet corn, green beans, blue blueberries, purple beetroot, etc.) Set your child a challenge to eat each colour of the rainbow everyday – perhaps with coloured stickers to add to their chart as they do?
Get your kids involved:
Children are far more likely to eat something they’ve had a hand in preparing, so let them get involved in the kitchen!
Rainbow pizzas are a great idea to introduce new and different vegetables – make your own dough, sprinkle Italian herbs into chopped tomatoes for sauce, then let your little ones go wild making their own pizza as colourful as possible.
7 portions a day may sound like a lot, but if you plan ahead, it’s actually quite easy to fit them all into a day. Add some blueberries to cereal in the morning for breakfast and you’re off to a great start. A crunchy red apple with fresh orange juice for a morning snack gets you to three. A sandwich stuffed with tuna and sweet corn, plus some cucumber sticks and hummus takes you up to five. A handful of grapes with some crackers when they get home from school, suddenly that’s six. Serve up tasty fish fingers with peas for tea, and you’re done! Not only that, but they will have eaten a great variety of colours too – delicious!
What are your own top tips for helping your kids to ‘eat a rainbow’?