Health Canada recommends that children 11 and under consume 5 servings of fruit and vegetables daily, children 12 to 13 years consume 6 servings of fruits and vegetables daily, and for teens 14+ that they consume 7-8 servings of fruits and vegetable a day. The scary thing is that fewer than 1 in 10 Canadian children are getting their recommended servings of fruits and vegetables; and even less are consuming enough variety of fruits and vegetables to get the full spectrum of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytonutrients.
To give you an idea of the power of whole food, there are over 350 nutrients in just an apple alone! This is way more nutrients than you would ever find in a multivitamin… definitely food for thought!
So, what can we do to help get our child to eat their fruits and vegetables?
If your kids are picky, here are 6 great strategies to help you and your family get the required fruits and veggies into their diet:
- Help them to grow their own herbs, fruits and vegetables. It is amazing what kids will eat if they have grown it themselves!
- Get them involved in helping to do meal planning, creating the grocery list, and participating in grocery shopping. The more children are a part of the process, the more ownership they have of following through and eating the food or meal.
- Involve them in meal preparation. Whether they help with baking healthy muffins for school lunches, making a salad, or chopping vegetables being a part of making meals helps give them a sense of purpose with contributing to the family. Even if they don’t eat it in the beginning, it is a steppingstone in the right direction.
- Educate your kids about why they need to eat healthy foods and why they need to limit junk food. Understanding what affects food has on their body or mental state might really help with buy in. There are many short Youtube videos that you can watch as family and discuss.
- Find their motivation hook! Whether they want to be faster or stronger in hockey, have better skin, or have more energy for running, or have better focus for school – find what will resonate with your individual child and motivate them to eat better.
- Read books such as Dr. Seuss’s Green Eggs and Ham to showcase that trying new foods that you don’t think you will like might actually be palatable and enjoyable!
For more info on why your child may be a picky eater, please check out our previous article.
If you are really challenged to get your child to eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables per day, or if you struggle with getting or providing enough variety, then we recommend supplementing with Juice Plus chewables!
Juice Plus chewables are whole food supplements containing 30 different fruits and vegetables in a chewable and delicious kid-friendly form.
Because Juice Plus chewables are made from whole foods, the body recognizes it and knows what to do with it. Unfortunately, many other supplements for children are loaded with artificial colourings, flavourings and even food dyes that have been banned in some European countries. So, it’s left to parents to be vigilant of what is in their children’s supplement products.
Koru Nutrition loves Juice Plus products because of their research! There are over 30 studies showing that the Juice Plus product can:
- Reduce the severity of upper respiratory challenges
- Increase the number and activity of immune cells circulating around the body
- Increase antioxidant nutrients in the blood
- Reduce DNA damage
- Reduce inflammation
- Improve skin health (circulation, density, thickness and hydration)
- Reduced cholesterol and increase in lean body mass
A parent can purchase the Juice Plus capsules for themselves and receive the fruit and vegetable chewables for their child for free for up to 4 years*! That is a value of $2,400! Plus, the child gets to be a part of one of the largest children’s health study, the Family Health Study.
Since starting the Family Health Study, families have reported:
- 60% of kids were missing fewer days of school
- 56% of kids were taking fewer over the counter and/or prescription medications
- 71% were drinking more water
- 66% were visiting the doctor less
- 71% were consuming less fast food and soft drinks
- 61% were eating more fruits and vegetables
Koru Nutrition’s owner, Certified Nutritionist Kylie James, says: “My 4 year old loves his Juice Plus chewables and often tries to sneak more.” Her kids love making chocolate bark with the Juice Plus chewables.
*Your child must be between the ages of 4 and 18 or a full-time undergraduate college student in a four-year degree