If you're not familiar with MyPlate, it's a set of guidelines released by the USDA to help Americans eat a balanced diet. Getting enough of each food group every day can be tough, especially for parents with busy lives and picky eaters. We've got some suggestions below to help you get your kids to eat their fruits and veggies.
- Aim for sweeter fruits to encourage kids to eat them.
- Mix fruits in with different foods to introduce more flavor.
- Pick veggies that are on the sweeter or more savory side.
Kid-Friendly Fruits and Vegetables
Fruits are usually easier to get children to eat than vegetables. Many fruits are sweet, which kids love. Strawberries are a great choice, being one of the sweetest fruits out there. Bananas are often liked by young children, as they are easy to chew. Tarter fruits, like lemon and orange, are going to be less popular.
Mixing fruit in with yogurt or ice cream can encourage picky kids to eat. Pick a yogurt or ice cream that is low in sugar, but still flavorful. Vanilla yogurt is often a good choice. Strawberries, blueberries, and raspberries are all good additions to either ice cream or yogurt. With the right choices, getting your kids to eat their fruit each day shouldn't be too hard.
Veggies are a different story. Most kids hate eating their vegetables. Kids are often more sensitive to bitterness than adults, which is why they tend to protest when offered a vegetable as part of their meal. Don't include veggies with your kid's lunch; more than likely, they'll end up in the trash rather than your child's stomach.
Veggies should be served with dinner, when you can ensure they're eaten. Adding cheese to vegetables is a good way to encourage kids to eat them. Pick a low-fat option so the health benefits of the veggies aren't overshadowed by the fat content of cheese. You can also choose one of the few vegetables that kids tend to enjoy, like corn or sweet potatoes.