As you surely know, Gasol Foundation is committed to improving the eating and lifestyle habits of children, adolescents and their families. For this reason, through our projects in the US, Spain and on our social media channels (with the hashtag #HealthyChallenge), we will propose a health challenge as well as share healthy living advice for children, adolescents and families on a monthly basis. This month challenge: eat three pieces of fruit a day! Does it seem hard? We are here to show you just how fun and easy it can be!
How to motivate children to have a fruit-filled life
The quality of children’s diets is a subject of considerable public concern. National data indicates that dietary intakes of American children and adolescents are less than optimal. Did you know, for example, that fruit and vegetable consumption among young people is below recommended levels?
People who eat more vegetables and fruits as part of an overall healthy diet are likely to have a reduced risk of some chronic diseases. Fruits provide nutrients vital for health, such as potassium, dietary fiber, vitamin C, and folate (folic acid). We’ve listed some easy ways to get your kids (and the whole family!) to eat fruit:
- Buy fruits that are dried, frozen, and canned (in water or 100% juice) as well as fresh, so that you always have a supply on hand.
- Set a good example for children by eating fruit every day with meals or as snacks.
- Offer children a choice of fruits for lunch.
- Depending on their age, children can help shop for, clean, peel, or cut up fruits.
- While shopping, allow children to pick out a new fruit to try at home later.
- Decorate plates or serving dishes with fruit slices.
- Top off a bowl of cereal with some berries. Or, make a smiley face with sliced bananas as eyes, raisins as a nose, and an orange slice as a mouth.
- Offer raisins or other dried fruits instead of candy.
- Make fruit kabobs using pineapple chunks, bananas, grapes, and berries.
- Pack a juice box (100% juice) in children’s lunches instead of soda or other sugar-sweetened beverages.
- Look for and choose fruit options, such as sliced apples, mixed fruit cups, or 100% fruit juice in fast food restaurants.
- Offer fruit pieces and 100% fruit juice to children. There is often little fruit in “fruit-flavored” beverages or chewy fruit snacks.
Make It Healthy, Make It Fun
On top of these tips we have created 4 visual cards that compile some of the benefits of having a diet rich in fruits. What about printing them and sticking them on the fridge or around the eating area? It will allow the whole family to beat our monthly healthy challenge in an effortless & fun style!