The fruits are essential foods in our daily diet for the many benefits they bring to our body. These benefits are multiplied when we talk about children who are in full growth , who need high doses of energy and nutrients to grow up healthy . For many parents, the fact that their children eat fruit has become a very complicated task, sometimes mission impossible.
It is difficult for children to understand the need to eat fruit on a daily basis, especially when they still do not have a perception of risk, the vulnerability of the human being or cannot fully understand the positive health aspects of its consumption . The fruit has become a natural preventive element of many diseases and we need to know its benefits more carefully.
90% of the fruit is water, which is an excellent moisturizer for our body. The remaining 10% binds carbohydrates (fructose), vitamins (A, B, C), organic acids, fiber and mineral salts. The fat content is very low.
The vitamin A help absorb the iron , the calcium and phosphorus, enhances immune system, prevents vision problems, combat respiratory infections, facilitates skin healing and helps growth. Among the fruits rich in vitamin A are: peaches, tangerines, oranges, melons, bananas, plums and medlars.
The B vitamins contribute to the proper functioning of the heart, muscles, nervous system and digestive system. They favor the growth and production of red blood cells, among other functions. We can find it in bananas, raspberries, pears, lemons, oranges, mangoes, grapefruits, pineapples, kiwi and watermelon.
The vitamin C , to the like vitamins A, help the absorption of minerals. This vitamin prevents weakness, anemia, joint pain, irritability, and helps fight flu viruses. We can find it in grapefruit, lemon, melon, pineapple, apricot, peach, bananas and apples, among others.
It is recommended, as far as possible, that the fruit be ingested with the skin because the absorption of vitamins will be greater.
REASONS FOR CHILDREN TO EAT FRUIT
There is no doubt that fruit is beneficial, but these 10 reasons should encourage you to promote this type of food in the diet of your little ones:
1. Due to their high water content, they keep us hydrated.
2. They are high in fiber, which allows to regulate intestinal transit and prevent constipation situations.
3. They contain many antioxidants and prevent us from many diseases such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases (diabetes, high cholesterol, etc.) and neurodegenerative diseases, gastrointestinal diseases.
4. They contribute to growth and development.
5. They strengthen our immune system, due to its high content of vitamins.
6. They help to eliminate liquids, especially due to their high content of water, sodium and potassium.
7. They help prevent and treat disorders such as hypercholesterolemia, diabetes, obesity …
8. They allow weight control by preventing obesity and the consequences that derive from it: in addition to being great nutrients, they are low in fat, making them an ideal food to replace sandwiches, sweets, sweets. ..
9. It is a food of easy access, present all year round and relatively adapted to all pockets. The great variety of fruits that are in the market or that can be grown allows the child to consume those that he likes the most (sweet, sour …). It can also be consumed at any time of the day and anywhere.
10. They are foods rich in nutrients, which helps to compensate for a deficit in the diet.
WHAT FRUITS AND WHEN TO INCORPORATE THEM IN THE DIET OF CHILDREN
The incorporation of fruits to the child’s diet must be made progressive depending on their ability to chew, swallow, preferences, etc. However, it should be a habit that the family and the school should promote from an early age.
Some guiding recommendations on what type of fruits and when to incorporate them into the diet are the following:
– From 6 months: apple, pear and banana
– From 7 months: peach and apricot from.
– Between 8 and 9 months: plums, watermelon without seeds, grapes without skin or seeds, cherry without stone, papaya.
– Between 9 and 12 months: citrus (first in juices, then in small pieces), mango and pineapple
– From the year on: kiwi, strawberry, raspberries, blackberries, melon are added, and you can now consume all the variety of fruits.
HOW TO GET CHILDREN TO EAT FRUIT
Diet habits start at 3 or 4 years old and are established after 11. At home and at school, the habit of consuming fruit daily should be introduced. How to do this?
– Be patient when you try to introduce the fruit into the child’s diet. Surely the child will reject it but do not stop insisting. In addition, it varies with colors, textures, flavors … What’s more, you can form a face on the plate with several pieces of fruit and play to eat the nose, the eyes …
– Children are sponges, expert imitators, so try to set an example : it is important for the child to see that habitual consumption at home.
– Try to explain the benefits that its consumption entails: there are many easily accessible resources on the internet (files, stories, short videos …) that can help you in this task.
– Teach him to prepare the fruit: to peel it, ways to consume it …
– That the child feels that he is part of the decision-making on the daily menus. Ask him what fruits he would like you to buy, when are you going to consume them …
– Put the fruits in view of the child: a fruit bowl on the table, in the fridge in sight, etc. try to avoid buying other products rich in saturated fat (industrial pastries, etc.).
– Points the child to cooking classes: in addition to learning recipes and hygiene habits, these classes instill nutritional values and healthy consumption habits
– Work on this habit through games and dynamics . You can find crowd on the internet. In addition, you will spend a fun time together.
– Prepare fruit recipes with the child: cakes, smoothies, juices, etc. This action will bring the child closer to the fruits and their manipulation. In addition, you will want to try it, since it has been something prepared by himself.
– It is not recommended to offer a reward to the child for having eaten fruit, since it will create a bad habit. However, it is important that you reinforce the child when consuming fruit with phrases such as: “How good you have eaten a banana, now you will have energy all day!” , or “I’m very happy that you tried such fruit, you know that eating fruit will make you sick less often!”