getting kids to eat fruit

Ask Amanda: Getting Kids to Eat Fruit Your Nutrition Questions Answered By Expert Dietitian

This week, in lieu of answering a question, I thought I would share our fruit tree.

In our practice, we meet many picky eaters and their parents. There are many reasons why children become picky eaters. Regardless the reason, sometimes as parents, we resort to the foods that we think toddlers will eat (enter chicken nuggets and french fries).  We find ourselves “giving up” after countless attempts of putting food on our toddler’s plate that we know will wind up thrown on the floor or put in the trash.

Sometimes exposure to new foods can come in other ways besides putting it on our toddler’s plates and requesting (or even coercing or bribing them to eat it). Even if they don’t eat it, exposure to new foods, like fruits and vegetables, is important.  Touching them, smelling them and seeing them are often the first steps to eating fruits and vegetables.

This week, I am sharing our fruit tree. I have found this to be an easy way to encourage fruits and vegetables in my house without force feeding them to my kids.

We printed our tree from the internet (or you can draw the outline of a tree), and then we filled it in with stickers from all the fruits and vegetables we ate. My kids like the challenge of taking the stickers off the fruits and vegetables, and it hangs on our refrigerator, so everyone gets to look at it and monitor our progress.

What works well in your house? We would love to hear from you! Email me and let me know or submit an “Ask Amanda” question for a future column.