Do you want your kids to eat healthier? Most parents do, but it can be a challenge to get kids to eat fruits and vegetables in place of the many sweet treats that are constantly vying for their attention. Well, there may be an easier way. A new study shows that getting kids to eat healthy foods such as fruit could be as simple as making them more visually appealing.
Fruit for Kids: Do You Need Them to Eat More?
In a study published in the journal Appetite, researchers offered young kids two different plates of fruit. One plate was piled high with uncut fruit, while the other held fruit that had been sliced into shapes – to make them more appealing to the eye. Which plate was more popular? The kids ate more fruit from the plate with the shapes than they did the uncut fruit every time.
Kids Eating Fruit: The Power of Visual Appeal
What made these kids more likely to eat fruit that had been cut into shapes? Most adults won’t deny that when food is attractively presented, it increases their desire to eat it. Are kids any different? People pay large sums of money to eat dinner at restaurants that give very little food, but make it look pretty. Kids, too, like food that’s pleasing to the eye or is somehow novel in appearance.
Fruit for Kids: Make It Pretty and Fun
It takes a little more time, but if you want your kids to eat fruit, cut it into interesting shapes to make it more visually appealing. Instead of simply slicing melon, use a melon ball tool to carve it into balls. Use a special knife that gives fruits and veggies a rippled edge. You can also use cookie cutters to stamp soft melons such as cantaloupe and honeydew into interesting shapes. What about fruit kebobs? These can be made by placing bite size pieces of fruit on a wooden stick, but make sure your child is old enough not to harm themselves with the stick.
Other Ways to Get Kids to Eat Fruit
For a little variety, give kids a healthy low-fat dip to enhance their fruit and make it creamy and special. Make all-fruit popsicles by pureeing fruit in the blender and putting it into a popsicle mold – or whip up a quick fruit and yogurt smoothie. What child can resist these fruity temptations?
Fruit for Kids: The Bottom Line
Don’t get discouraged because your child won’t eat fruit and vegetables – find a new way to present them. If it’s novel and unique, don’t be surprised if your child asks for more.