Food / Mentalhealth / Toolbox

Let’s get Fruity!

Kids LOVE fruit, I kid you not. I know you will sit there and tell me all about the picky eaters and this texture and that texture and they won’t touch it with a 10 foot barge pole. I know this, I have said this but ALL kids love fruit.

It TRULY *hand on heart* is the easiest thing in the world to get kids to eat fruit.

And I will explain how but first I am going to tell you all the MISTAKES I have made.

I would buy them the bulk bag of the cheapest in season fruit in the store…and for 4 weeks we drowned in Oranges, Granny Smith, Red Delicious… name it…don’t do that it’s like terror tidal wave of round fruit.

I would buy them the same fruit every week because I know the answer that must be the only fruit they like…..

And it would quickly die a death of over exposure and again they return to not eating fruit.

I was living in Darwin fruit was priced as if it was coated in gold foil in spite of it being in a shocking condition, along with the rest of the fresh produce and so you did what you could.
But when we moved to Victoria things changed it did take some time to change habits but Oh My! Did they change, and this is what I learned;

  1. Buy in Season only.
    • There is no other way to go it is simply at its best and cheapest
      Always buy a variety and not just a few different type of apples. Buy berries, melon, stone fruit, grapes, kiwi fruit, banana, limes, lemon.
      Yes they are expensive but just a small amount of each can add to a dish to keep them eating fruit.
  2. Let them have free reign over the fruit.
    • Use it in salads, milkshakes cakes and dishes but don’t restrict eating even the expensive fruit in any way….it is better eaten than forming a liquid in the bottom of the fridge.
  3. Have a HUGE fruit bowl and keep it loaded. Keep it in a main traffic area either on the coffee table in the living room or on the kitchen table.
    • To maintain your fruit bowl before ANY fruit goes in it wash it out with vinegar or oil of cloves.
    • Let the fruit have a bath in the sink with a 1-2 cups of white vinegar thrown in and give it all a good wash before going in the fruit bowl.
  4. Keep lime and lemon juice on hand as a staple in the fridge. I like the bottles of juice from Coles but whether fresh lemons or limes or bottled it works. I keep both.
  5. Keep canned fruit in the pantry, frozen fruit in the freezer so that when it comes to baking and other dishes, you don’t suddenly find yourself left short if they have gone wild on the fresh fruit. It is something to celebrate!

I swear to you I have thrown huge kids birthday parties and laden the table with sausages in bread, commercial lollies, chips and dips, fresh baked cakes and biscuits even gingerbread AND fruit platters…

Guess what walked off the table? It wasn’t the lollies, chips and dips or baked goods they all almost entirely intact made it back home or to the party neighbouring us in the park who were still going when we left.

It was the fruit platters they walked even faster than the sausages in bread. And these were kids with ADHD, autism, anxiety disorders… picky as it gets. And their parents didn’t hesitate to let me know that their child NEVER eats Fruit.

Parents were demanding to know what I did to the fruit that their child was basically eating it all by the kilo…..absolutely nothing out of the ordinary….I just cut it up. I did make sure there was a good mix of acidic fruit to hinder it browning…there was pineapple and citrus it all cut up in ready to eat sizes with peel left for handles….it was just a very colourful wide variety of fruits some of which the children had never even encountered before.

They explored it….and they even ate fruits they had tried and rejected before.

This was not a one time only deal either, it has occurred every children’s party I have thrown.

Last night we had fruit in pancakes. We didn’t cook it in the crepes instead we just sliced it all up the apple nice and thin, didn’t even cook it and once our crepes were cooked we loaded our crepes with the fruit each of us wanted including strawberries kiwi mandarin and banana….poured on some maple syrup, golden syrup, sugar and lime juice or squeezed a lemon….or even some cream….and dug in. It was amazing.

My fruit shopping includes a combination of methods. I purchase a weekly $18 fruit snack box from Coles (most Grocers have some mixed fruit box available) and perhaps some extra kiwi fruit and strawberries if on special and then midweek I do a trip down and grab a few more kilo of a variety of fruits particularly of what has walked the fastest from the bowl. It keeps a good mix in the bowl and even some occasional surprises coming and IT GETS EATEN!

Oh and most important of all, plant some fruit tree’s even if renting. They don’t cost the earth and every home should have a handful of fruit tree’s. We have Peaches, Pears, Lemon, Plums, Olives and Apples.

2 thoughts on “Let’s get Fruity!

  1. I keep a stocked fruit bowl as well. My wife and kids joke that every breakfast I make has more fruit than anything I made (mostly days its true). Nothing in the fruit bowl is off limits though I do sometimes prohibit use if bought for a specific reason.

    We also often do a make your own salad at supper. I prep small bowls of fruit, veg, nuts, cheeses or whatever and put out several dressings and a large bpwl of lettuce(s). Everyone builds their salad how they like it. House favourites include avocado, blueberries, bell pepper and artichoke; I am the only one partial to shaved carrot in some salads.

    We always try to offer choice but stand by our no green eggs and hamming it rule that was instilled young. I find my kids are not too picky about food and though only one of the kids likes olives they have all had them.

    Liked by 1 person

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