Food for Children: The Importance of Fruits and Vegetables
It may be difficult to get our children to eat their fruits and vegetables, but beyond the obvious nutritional value, pepping their diet with this food group has a lot more advantages. Here are some:
Better Mental Performance
While we know that ‘Glow’ foods help the skin and bones, a regular intake of fruits and vegetables also helps children to think better. Studies have shown that children who regularly consume fruits and vegetables fare better in literacy assessments.
How to introduce it to their diet: Add kale or spinach into their breakfast omelette. Also, you can pack unpeeled apple slices as snacks. Just remember to drizzle some lemon juice to prevent browning!
Snacks tend to lean towards the sugary and unhealthy, but a fruit and/or vegetable alternative that is low in calories but high in good fat content, will also satiate children’s craving for snacks, without worrying about tipping that weighing scale!
How to introduce it to their diet: Allow your children to help you in preparing their snacks, incorporating fun things like honey-dipped bananas or carrots cut in fun shapes. Children are more likely to eat fruits and vegetables that they helped prepare.
Enhanced Taste Buds
Introducing your children to fruits and vegetables early in their life will also allow them to expose their taste buds to different flavours. The great variety of tastes would teach them to be more adventurous in their diet — a great cure for the picky eaters — and also help their tongues recognize what food their bodies require.
How to introduce it to their diet: Have a tasting party at home! Let your kids try out different tastes of fruits and vegetables and let them pick which ones they enjoy the most. Not only does it stop the guesswork on which foods they will eat, it also provides a fun afternoon activity that teaches them tastes and textures.
But the best way to get your children eating fruits and vegetables is to make sure that it is accessible to them both at home and at school. At Brighton Montessori, our in-house cooks always plan ahead and ensure a good variety of healthy, well-balanced meals for our children.