Meeting Nutritional Needs with Fruit


Although many kids may not favor the taste of vegetables, continue to expose them to those they do not like (yet) while meeting nutritional needs with fruit.

Today’s Lunch

LOVE IT FOODS: cantaloupe, cheese

LIKE IT FOODS: pretzel letters, strawberries

LEARNING IT: chicken slices, cherry tomatoes

More on Meeting Nutritional Needs with Fruit

Do you get as discouraged about kids not wanting to eat their vegetables as I do? Without bribing them to eat them or forcing a "no thank you bite, " it may feel like we will never see victories in the area of vegetables. Even though many kids may not favor the bitter taste of (uncooked or plain) vegetables at a young age, take advantage of the fact that most like the sweetness of fruit! Fruit has many of the same vitamins and minerals as vegetables. The higher calorie content does not need to be of concern with kids nor does the natural sugars need to raise major red flags.

Ideally, toddlers ages 2-3 years old need one cup of fruit and one cup of vegetables per day. For kids ages 4-8, this amount raises to 1.5 cups of each. While my daughter doesn't eat carrots and won't touch sweet potatoes, she could eat her weight in cantaloupe. Look for such foods your child does like or love that could fill the nutritional gaps of those they are still learning! By offering relative nutrient-rich options that they love or like, you can continue to re-expose them them to those other options (most often veggies) without feeling as much pressure to push the polite bite. 

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