By in Food

How to Get Kids Eating Yummy Fruit: Cut It Up

Children need to eat whole fruit every day as part of a balanced diet, but many parents have a tough time getting kids to eat the fruits they offer. Sometimes it's just a lot easier to pack a juice box in your child's school lunch, but with the growing awareness that fruit juice isn't the healthiest choice many parents are wracking their brains for ways to get kids to eat the whole fruit.

Cutting Fruit Down to Size for Kids

One way to get kids eating fresh fruit is to make it easier to eat. Always be sure that fruit is the right size for your child's hands. Choose a slightly smaller apple or banana for little kids, or instead opt for berries and smaller fruits like figs or apricots.

With larger fruit like melon, pineapple and papaya, try cutting it into bite sized chunks to make it easier to eat. You can cut up a whole melon or pineapple at the beginning of the week, and store the pieces in airtight containers in your fridge. This saves you time when you're ready to pack school lunches. And because the fruit is already prepared, you can get even young children involved in packing lunch. Kids are more likely to eat it if they choose it and help to prepare the lunch!

Fresh cut fruit can be eaten with oatmeal or granola, made into a parfait with a little yogurt, or put on short skewers to make fruit kebabs. You can also make a healthy yogurt dip that kids will love to use for dunking berries and bits of melon, banana, or apple!

How Much Fruit is Enough?

Nutrition experts advise us to include more fruits and vegetables in our diet. Children need to eat fruit every day, and fresh fruit is the best source of nutrients – better than fruit juices or fruits canned in syrup. Guidelines vary, but for most children one to two pieces of fruit (or up to two cups) is a healthy amount of fruit to eat in a day.

One serving of fruit is about the equivalent of a medium apple or banana. Here are the sizes for some other fruits:

• Apples, bananas, oranges, peaches, plums, nectarines, guava, etc. - serving size is one medium fruit

• Apricots and figs – serving size is 2 fruits

• Cherries and grapes – serving size is 20 fruits

• Lychee fruit – serving size is 10 fruits

• Berries and cut fruit – serving size is 1/2 cup

If your child finds these portions too large, don't be afraid to cut back. Just include more servings throughout the day.

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Image credit: Fruit plate by Alpha/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

Note: This content has been adapted from an original piece by the author, which has since been removed from Bubblews

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Kasman wrote on June 11, 2015, 2:37 PM

We can also make our own smoothies from whole fruit but it can be very hard to get kids to eat what's good for them. Fortunately most kids seem to do OK!

Ruby3881 wrote on June 11, 2015, 2:54 PM

My kids love smoothies! I do too, but I'm not keen on the cleanup afterwards, LOL emoticon :smile:

BarbRad wrote on June 11, 2015, 7:42 PM

Fruit is one of the best snacks when the days are hot. I think it's interesting that we get our widest selection of fruits in the summer.

CalmGemini wrote on June 13, 2015, 2:24 AM

This will make not only kids but adults to eat fruits.Many times we may not eat fruits even if they are available. ( Lazy? )But if we cut them and pack and keep them in fridge, we all can eat them whenever we want.

LadyDuck wrote on June 13, 2015, 5:00 AM

There are fruits that contains many more calories than others. I tend to eat bigger portions of melons and watermelons, but I cut on cherries, grapes and figs, that are full of calories.

Debbie wrote on June 13, 2015, 7:25 AM

Good advice.

I've never had a problem with mine eating pears. Also melon and strawberries have always been firm favourites in this house.

CoralLevang wrote on June 13, 2015, 4:59 PM

Smoothies are the way I get my requirements. Cutting them up makes good sense, too, for me!

WordChazer wrote on June 14, 2015, 10:14 AM

I've hoodwinked myself into eating more fruit and getting some exercise simply by making smoothies. I stop at the store every couple of days and scan the reduced to clear shelves for on-date fruit bags or snack pots. They're usually half price or better. Buy them, walk home, stick them in the blender with half a dozen tablespoons of natural yogurt. Half in the thermos flask for lunch the next day, the rest in a screw top pot in the fridge for the day after. Last week's was pineapple, watermelon, cranberries, pear yogurt and apple. This week's will be pineapple juice, cranberries, apple plus whatever I find at the store tomorrow night. I've never liked fruit as fruit but I love smoothies. Have to be home made ones though as the ready made store ones either all have banana in (ick) or are wayyyy too sweet for my taste. Coming up to the apricot, peach, nectarine and plum time of year too.