It’s crucial that our little ones get their five a day of fruit and veg every single day. The vitamins and minerals found in these wonder foods are the building blocks of growth, a strong immune system and good physical and mental health.
But we mums are well aware just how hard it can be to get them to chow down on the very foods they need the most, and so until they invent ice-cream with the same nutritional make up as broccoli, we need to find creative and savvy – read: sneaky – ways to get them to eat their five a day, every day.
1. Yummy soups
Soups are a brilliant way to stuff our kids with all manner of veggies. All you need is a blender and a little creativity and you can create mouthwatering, fragrant soups in double quick time. And to add an extra novelty to proceedings, allow them to add their own croutons and fresh herbs to their bowls.
2. Fresh, not from concentrate fruit juice
A glass of delicious fruit juice like family fave Tropicana is one of the sneakiest ways to get one of their five a day ticked off the list. Perfect for a Vitamin C shot, a glass of orange juice builds up the immune system, provides the body with all-important iron and helps develop healthy skin and gums.
3. Veggies and dips
Peppers in a stew might seem unappealing to kids, but vibrantly-coloured peppers chopped up to dip into hummous or guacamole is a different story. And because they’re raw, the kids are getting their full nutritional benefits.
4. Ice pops
Now who can turn down an ice pop? Simple invest in an ice pop tray – you can pick them up for a couple of euro – and fill with a ‘smoothie’ mix of berries, yoghurt and milk. Chuck into the freezer for a couple of hours, and there you have it ‘ice cream’ pops.
5. Banana ice-cream
Another brilliant freezer trick is to make one-ingredient ‘ice-cream’ using just bananas. Trust us, they won’t be able to tell the difference. Simply peel some overripe bananas, chop and freeze. When frozen, pop into a blender and you’ll end up with creamy, custardy ice-cream!
6. Keep it interesting
There are so many fruit and veggies out there that we can be a little hesitant to try – but by turning healthy eating into an exciting game, the kids will get into the habit of A) trying new things and B) eating their five a day – result! To achieve this, pick a different, exotic fruit to eat each day, like dragon fruit, or passion fruit, or pak choi. And to get the kids even more involved, let them be the ones to make the selection.
7. Healthy pizza
Pizza gets a bit of a bad rap, but it can actually be a very healthy, easy to make dinner option if you go light on the cheese and load on the veggies. Grab a tortilla wrap or a wholemeal pitta, drench in tomato puree and cover with onions, mushroom, peppers, spinach and pineapple and bake – the kids will love their ‘treat’.
8. Make it ‘grate’
Look, we never claimed to be good at puns! A very clever way to get veggies into dishes is to literally grate them in! Kids can have a things about textures, so grating in carrots and the like can give your meal that nutritional density, on the sly. We do what we can eh?
A 150ml glass of Tropicana orange juice is the easiest way to tick off one of the kids’ five a day. Packed with only the best quality oranges and never from concentrate, each glass contains only natural occurring sugars and just 72 calories.
Tropicana OJ is also a fantastic source of vitamin C and vitamin B9, both crucial in supporting a healthy immune system.
Have you any clever tricks to encourage the kids to eat more fruit and veg? We would love to hear them so get in touch!
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