Guest Author - Vannie Ryanes
Your young children don't eat enough fruit to suit you? If you give them an apple or half an apple, do you find it somewhere tucked away withered and brown or floating in Rover's water dish? Well, there is hope, you can get your kids to eat their fruit without first hearing, "Aw Mom!"
If your children won't eat fruit, maybe they just don't like the way it is given to them, let them have a bit of fun with the fruit, they may change their minds about eating it. Don't peel oranges, instead, wash the orange, cut it in slices, and place the slices on a small dish pin wheel style. The child can eat one slice at a time. Show him how to bite the fruit from the rind. Slice a small apple for dipping in honey. Pull grapes from the stem, rinse and place in a small bowl, if the pits are worrisome, slice the grapes in half, you remove the pits. Freeze blueberries, they make tasty morsels. Any one of these ideas make it easy for little fingers to pick up the fruit and enjoy it. Don't buy flavored yogurt, instead buy it plain and put cut fruit or frozen blueberries in it for a flavorful treat.
Let your kids build fruit kabobs. You can use any fruit. Just remember apples, pears and bananas turn brown almost immediately if you don't dip them in lemon juice. I have found that lemon juice on fruit is often a turn-off for young ones. You may want to get them to eat these fruits a different way.
Make Fruit Kabobs
Use melon cubes, grapes (green, black, red) removed from the stem, orange and tangerine slices, etc. Thread pieces of fruit onto shish-kabob sticks, alternating the pieces. Be sure to use blunt plastic spears, do not use metal skewers. If your children are very young, let them point to the piece of fruit they want, and you can put it on the stick, then show them how to take one piece off at a time to savor and enjoy. This should discourage the child from putting the plastic spear in his mouth. Know this is for age and ability appropriate children only. Until you are comfortable with allowing your child to pull food from a plastic stick he should be watched while doing this; take a few minutes to enjoy your child's company and a healthful snack. Better yet, use unsalted skinny pretzel sticks or carrot sticks.
You should be able to find packages of plastic shish-kabob sticks in supermarkets or dollar and bargain stores. Purchase only items that have fairly rounded edges, rather than sharp.