Are Your Kids Eating Enough Fruit and Veggies?

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kids and fruit, how much fruit should kids eat

Photo courtesy of Greg Bishop via Flickr

A healthy child’s diet should include generous amounts of fruit and veggies, in a colorful range, and organic or locally grown if possible. By eating enough fruits and veggies kids get all the dietary fiber and nutrients that helps their body develop and even their brain. When you prepare a salad, make sure you have a variety of different colors (at least five) on your plate, so your kid can get the full benefit of nutrients possible in his diet.

The following chart shows recommended minimum amounts according to age group and gender (nutritional needs are basically the same for boys and girls until puberty, which hits around 8-13 for girls and 9-14 for boys), and considering moderate daily activity of 30-60 minutes.

 

GIRLS

Age 2-3: 1 cup of fruit + 1 cup of veggies

Age 4-8: 1 ½ cups of fruit + 1 ½ cups of veggies

Age 9-13: 1 ½ cups of fruit + 2 cups of veggies

Age 14-18: 2 cups of fruit + 2 ½ cups of veggies

BOYS

Age 2-3: 1 cup of fruit + 1 cup of veggies

Age 4-8: 1 ½ cups of fruit + 1 ½ cups of veggies

Age 9-13: 1 ½ cups of fruit + 2 ½ cups of veggies

Age 14-18: 2 cups of fruit + 3 cups of veggies

What exactly is a serving?

1 cup equals one (1) apple or large corn or large orange or large sweet potato

½ cup equals five (5) broccoli florets or 16 grapes or 4 large strawberries or 6 baby carrots

Here are few easy ways to fill your kid’s day with fruit and veggies as part of a healthy diet:

  • Stir low-fat granola into a bowl of low-fat yogurt, and top with sliced apples, bananas or frozen berries.
  • Add vegetables, such as diced tomatoes and onions into an egg or egg-white omelet or make a wrap.
  • Make a smoothie with their favorite fruit and add some vegetables they would normally avoid, such as kale, spinach or beets.
  • Serve some sliced fruit as a mid-morning snack.
  • Serve homemade apple, pear or other fruit sauce or compote as an afternoon snack.
  • Make a colorful fruit salad with their favorite fruit to satisfy anytime munchies.
  • Make fruits and veggies about half of your kid’s plate.
  • Serve raw vegetables with a healthy low-fat dip for quick munchies.
  • Put grapes and banana slices on wooden skewers and freeze for “fruit on a stick” snack.
  • Add frozen vegetables such as broccoli, peas, and corn to a casserole or pasta.
  • Ask for more vegetable toppings (like broccoli and spinach) and less cheese on your kid’s pizza.

Get inspired by our Creative meals for kids.

Get more information at Fruits and veggies matter.

kids getting enough fruit and veggies

 

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