Eat The Rainybow
The NHS recommends little ones (and their grown-ups!) eat at least 5 portions of a variety of fruit and vegetables every day to help them grow strong and healthy. Fruit and vegetables are a great source of vitamins, minerals and fibre, and an important part of a balanced diet.
A serving size of fruit and vegetables varies by age, but a rough guide for little ones will be the amount they can fit in the palm of their hand. It doesn’t have to all be the same fruit or vegetable though to make one serving - you can mix them up like Sula when eating their Easy Peasy Pasta! Carrots & peas together in one serving - yummy delicious!. In fact, it is better for little ones to eat lots of different types of fruits and vegetables in order to get all the vitamins and minerals they need. Remember to cut up fruit and vegetables small enough for little children to eat without being a health hazard, and any cutting preparation should be completed by grown-ups.
Children are often picky eaters, and convincing them to eat fruits can be a challenge. There are lots of different ways for little ones to eat and enjoy their fruit and vegetables, even if they don’t like eating them whole. Slicing vegetables thinly into a pasta sauce is a great way to add an extra serving into the diet of a little one who doesn’t like their vegetables! With fruit and vegetables covering all the colours of the Rainybow and lots of different flavours, eating them will never get boring!
Maybe they like to mix their vegetables together for an Easy Peasy Pasta like Sula, or perhaps they would prefer to make a tomato sandwich like Pando. Or, like Bing, maybe they love carrots and will eat them on their own or in a Yummy Delicious Carroty Bagel. Get creative with your little ones and make fruit cones together which have lots of colours from the Rainybow (and a little bit of chocolate!).
Although it is always best to prioritise eating fresh or cooked fruit and vegetables, smoothies are a great way to encourage little one's to try something new. Bing and Flop love making Banana smoothies together with Brenda the Blender! Brenda accidentally eats Bing's carrot as well as the bananas but he discovers he loves the yummy carroty smoothie too!"
Be sure to involve your little one in meal planning and preparation. By doing so, you are not only providing them with essential nutrients but also helping to establish healthy eating habits that will benefit them throughout their lives.
Here are some tips that may help encourage your little ones to eat more fruits and vegetables:
Lead By Example
Children learn a lot from their parents and caregivers. If they see you eating fruits and vegetables regularly, they are more likely to do the same.
Make It Fun!
Incorporate fruits and vegetables into fun snacks or meals. You can make fruit smoothies, fruit kebabs, or vegetable pizzas, for example.
Involve The Little One In Meal Planning And Preparation
Take your little one grocery shopping with you and let them choose some fruits and vegetables that they would like to try. Involve them in the preparation process, such as washing or peeling, fruits and vegetables.
Offer All The Colours Of The Rainybow!
Children can get bored with the same fruits and vegetables, so offer a variety of options. Try different colours, textures, and flavours to keep things interesting. Having a variety of fruits and vegetables also means your child is getting all the vitamins and minerals they need.
It may take several tries for your little one to develop a taste for a particular fruit or vegetable. Keep offering them, and encourage your child to try at least a few bites.
Limit Unhealthy Options
Limit sugary and processed foods, such as sweets and crisps, as this can reduce a child's appetite for healthier options.
Remember, creating a positive and encouraging environment will help your little ones develop healthy eating habits. Celebrate the small victories, and don't give up if your child resists certain foods at first. With time and patience, they may develop a taste for them!
Download a printable version
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