My children, aged 20 months and 4 years, do not eat any fruit at all. I give my son some grated banana in his porridge but if I ever give them cut fruits, they do not eat. I have tried sliced bananas, peeled cut apples, grapes etc. but I end up eating them or throwing them away! How do I encourage them to eat some fruits? I do not think making an apple pie has the same benefit as eating a whole apple and the same goes for fruit juices. I would like them to make it a habit to have fruits at least 3 to 4 times a week if not everyday. Kindly suggest ways and alternatives. Thank you in advance!

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Updated on Oct 24, 2013

nutrition Corner

Answer:

Hi Anurima,

This is a dilemma faced by a lot of parents whose kids are picky eaters. There are certain tips that would surely help you sail through this quandary. Try some of these:

1) If your children don’t relish cut fruits, offer them whole fruits. A whole lot of children are fascinated by a whole fruit. Let your child mess around and eat it forever. Not only will it give the child essential nutrients but will also keep her occupied for a good amount of time.
2) Set an example. That means, eat fruit yourself! Toddlers are great imitators and will eat whatever their parents eat. Don’t forget to exaggerate how delicious the fruit isJ
3) Make it fun! Make fun shapes of soft fruits with a cookie-cutter or corer. It adds to the appeal of the fruit and raises the interest level of the child.
4) Try giving your children fruit smoothies with fancy straws to make it look more appealing! Smoothies are extremely rich in nutrients with goodness of fruits, milk, yogurt, honey and nuts.
5) Make fruit yogurt/r Greek yogurt which is very healthy.
6) Cut up an apple and bake it with cinnamon. Many children love the exotic taste.
7) Disguise it! Add yogurt/cottage cheese/peanur butter/healthy dips/little juice and freeze it in cubes to make popsicle. These ideas generally work well as children love a little drama.
8) Feed fruit when really hungry. Most kids eat pretty much of everything when they’re really hungry. Cut out every snack before you feed fruit.
9) Be firm! If your child won't eat the fruit you put on their plate, don't give in and replace it with another snack. Don’t worry because they won't starve. Remember, you are the parent and you know that it is good for them to eat fruit.
10) Use attractive plates to serve fruit in.
All the best!

Regards,

Tanuja

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