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A fresh change

Adding more fruit and veggies to your family’s diet is easier than you think….

Let’s face it – kids are notoriously unenthusiastic about eating fruit and veggies. Sometimes it’s the colour they don’t like, sometimes it’s the texture, and sometimes it’s the taste. There are, however,  a few tips and tricks that you can use to encourage them and help create a healthy habit that will last a lifetime.

How much do they need?
Depending on age, kids need different amounts of fruits and vegetables in their diet. If you know what to aim for, it will be easier to reach that goal.

Here are the recommended intakes according to the Australian Government’s National Health and Medical Research Council (www.nhmrc.gov.au )

Fruit Vegetables
Age Group Recommended Intake (g/day) Recommended Intake (g/day
4-7 150 150
8-11 300-450 225
12-15 300-450 300
16-18 300-450 300

Source: Dietary Guidelines for Australian Adults and Dietary Guidelines for Children and Adolescents in Australia incorporating the Infant Feeding Guidelines for Health Workers Ref #n34. Published 2003.

Keep them colourful
When you stop and think about it, green just isn’t a very appealing colour for a food. So don’t just stop at the sugar snap peas and green apples and call it a day. Fill your shopping trolley with produce in a variety of colours – beets, blueberries, yams, plums, radishes, pink grapefruit and more. Kids will respond to the variety, while also getting a full spectrum of essential nutrients.

Make them available
One of the difficulties in having fruit and vegetables available to your family is keeping them fresh. Produce has a relatively shorter shelf life than dry, packaged snacks. The solution is transparent and stackable Rubbermaid Produce Saver™ containers. They actually extend the freshness of whole (uncut) produce such as cherry tomatoes and strawberries—“before washing” until you are ready to prepare or consume them—by lifting them out of any moisture with Crisp Tray™ and allowing them to breathe with the Fresh Vents™.

Produce that’s ready to eat belongs in Rubbermaid Easy Find Lids™ containers. The trick is to create ready-to-eat portions. A whole watermelon sitting in the bottom of the fridge is going to get passed over in favour of easy-to-grab potato chips every time. The same goes for a bag of carrots or even an unwashed carton of strawberries, which is why you need to spend some time making it easy to eat before it goes in the fridge. By prepping the produce you’re making it is a simple choice for someone with a growling tummy. Wash and store cut up celery and carrot sticks or chunks of sliced watermelon in Easy Find Lids™ containers to make them more accessible. Having everything prepared or portioned out for the kids makes it easy for them to grab—the perfect, healthy alternative to snacking on junk food. When you’re not using the containers, they organise neatly because the lids snap to the bases so they never get lost.

Sneak them in
If you’ve got a crew that refuses to go near fruit and vegetables in their fresh form, it’s time to get stealthy. Spaghetti sauce can hide green peppers and mushrooms, especially if they’re finely diced, and it’s hard to tell there’s a banana in the room when they’re mashed up in banana bread. Pies can only taste better with a few added veggies and you can add a little moisture to your baked goods with pureed fruits.