Five ways to eat more fruit
Keep the focus on fruit from an early age and it will quickly become second nature for your child to choose fruit as a healthy snack. We share five tips
1 STIR IT
Buy plain Bulgarian yoghurt and flavour it yourself by stirring through some fruit purée. This way you keep the added sugar way down compared to those small flavoured yoghurts from the shops. It works out cheaper too and you have better control over the portion size.
Do the same with porridge. Flavour morning oats with apple purée instead of sugar. When the fruit is very ripe, and your baby can handle more texture, you can grate it finely.
2 ADD IT
Adding fruit to your baby’s meaty meals aids digestion as the enzymes in the fruit help to break down the protein in the meat. Combinations that work well are stewed chicken and apricot, or mince with raisins and cinnamon, or pork and apple casseroles. Older toddlers will love chicken and pineapple kebabs. Adding fruity flavours to stronger tasting vegetables also makes the veggies more palatable to your baby.
3 COOK IT
Harder fruits like apples and pears go down better when they have been cooked. For your baby, you can peel and steam the fruit and then purée. For older children, bake a fruit crumble as a treat. Layer cut up fruit in a baking dish, sprinkle with cinnamon and lemon juice and then add a crumble out of oats, butter and desiccated coconut.
4 PEEL IT
When you peel and chop fruit, your child is much more likely to eat it than when you offer a whole fruit. Put fruit salad on the menu a few times a week, and change the ingredients as the seasons change. For summer, enjoy all the berries and grapes that are in season now, as well as melons. This way no-one will get bored. Other times you can cut fruit in interesting shapes or make little patterns or faces on a plate, or even put some slices on toast.
5 PACK IT
Keep a sachet of fruit purée in your child’s nappy bag and another in your handbag. You never know when you might have to stay out longer than intended, and a portion of fruit can keep hunger at bay in a healthy way until you are home again. It can also be a lifesaver while you’re out shopping. YB