Snacking on Vegetables & Fruit : A Rainbow of Choices
Everyone knows the old saying “An apple a day keeps the doctor away”. Even so, many Canadians could still include more vegetables and fruit in their diets.
Vegetables and fruit provide vitamins, minerals and fibre, essential for proper growth and development in children. A diet abundant in vegetables and fruit protects against heart disease, diabetes, stroke and some cancers. Everyone can benefit from the fibre and water in vegetables and fruit that fill you up and keep your digestive tract working well.
To boost the amount of vegetables and fruit in children’s diets, make the foods more available, easy to eat and accessible, and model healthy habits yourself. The following are some tips for success:
Start early. Introduce fruits and vegetables to children when they’re young, and continue serving fruits and vegetables with every meal and snack. Preschoolers need five servings of vegetables and fruit daily.
Be prepared. Always have a supply of cut, prepared vegetables and fruit in the refrigerator for easy snacking. Store them in clear containers at eye level.
Pack them up. Include washed, single servings of vegetables or fruit in your child’s lunches every day. Try packing a variety of colour.
Focus on vegetables and fruit. Instead of drinking juice, eat fresh, frozen or canned fruit. Most options are easy to pack and take with you anywhere.
Trade up. Substitute fruit or a salad for a side of fries when eating out.
Add them in. Add extra vegetables to foods you prepare from scratch or to prepared foods.
Set a good example by eating and serving fruits and vegetables every day. This is important in an age of fast food and intense food advertising aimed at children.
Vegetables and Fruit Make Easy Snacks!
- Steamed baby carrots and yogurt dressing
- Apple or orange wedges
- Cucumbers and cheese
- Pepper strips
Source: Healthy Beginnings Preschoolers