A new study from the Produce for Better Health Foundation shows that Millennials – including many of those most likely to be parents of young children – are the age group least likely to eat fruits and vegetables. And their Gen Z kids, ages 1 to 14, could be picking up those habits.
Kelly Jones is a sports dietitian, Have A Plant® ambassador and mom on a mission to get kids and their parents to eat more fruits and veggies.
To help kids enjoy more fruits and veggies for their amazing taste and health benefits, here are three easy tips to get started:
TIP #1: DON’T OVERWHELM THEM.
Try putting a few small pieces of fruits and vegetables in front of them to “sample.” Another way to reduce overwhelm is not serving the “new” food by itself. Put it next to foods they already eat and love, like cheese slices and pita wedges.
TIP #2: MAKE FOOD FAMILIAR
Repetition is also important to create healthy habits – when kids are used to seeing veggies on their plate, they will start to see them as yummy and then crave them! You can start one meal a day with a fruit or veggie as the star. Think canned peaches to kick off lunch or a few carrots to jumpstart dinner.
TIP #3 INVOLVE KIDS
Children are much more likely to try something new if they had a hand in making it. Let them help with food prep and touch and feel new fruits and vegetables to get used to the new textures. Teach them about colors by putting all the orange foods together and all of the green foods together. By the time they’ve learned their colors, they’ll also be “eating the rainbow!”
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