How to eat more fruit
Yesterday I blogged about the problem with Fruit Roll-ups , as a snack and a source of fruit (they’re not). So what options does that leave, for those fussy non-fruit eaters out there?
It can be hard to get some kids (and also some adults) to eat fruit, with complaints ranging from taste, through to fruits too messy. However, fruit is an important part of a healthy diet – it gives us vitamin C, valuable fibre, potassium, as well as many, many antioxidants. Without 2 – 3 pieces of fruit per day, your diet will be lacking in key nutrients and antioxidants.
Easy ways to eat more fruit
- Only buy the fruit you like – if you think apples are boring, bland and tasteless, then don’t buy them. From my experience people too often spend money on the cheaper fruit, stuff they don’t really like and then end up throwing it away at the end of the week. This is not helping your fruit consumption, so buy the fruit you actually like.
- Put together quick and easy fruit packs for yourself or your kids to take to work and school.
- Use a variety of fruit and make it easy to eat. I quite like using the little snaplock bags, they don’t leak, can fit in lunchboxes, give a good serving of easy-to-eat fruit, plus they can be washed and re-used.
For example, a bag of strawberries or blueberries. Simply wash the strawberries and leave the stalks on, so they’re easy to pick up.
A halved kiwi gold (or normal kiwi fruit) with a little spoon, to scoop out the flesh:
Or even a bag of dried fruit. Dried fruit definitely counts towards your daily total and many dried fruits are higher in calcium, potassium and iron. My little bag contains 3 apricots, some dried apple and a date:
But you could just as well include a little packet of sultanas:
Alternatively a little plastic container of fruit is just as good, for example I’ve cut up some rockmelon here, into bite-sized pieces and left the skin on, again so they’re easy to handle:
Or a little fruit salad, combining fresh and dried fruit – this one includes rockmelon, strawberries and dried apricot. You could also include a small spoon or fork, again to make it easy to eat:
Tinned fruit is also good
Alternatively, if you’re fed up with fresh, why not have some tinned fruit? It still contains a lot of useful nutrients.
- Pick fruit that’s canned in juice, rather than syrup.
- I also avoid the snackpacks, as I think they’re a rip-off. Most only contain 52 percent fruit, with the rest being juice. This just adds extra sugars and kilojoules, rather than fruity goodness.
- Buy a full tin and portion it out yourself:
I’ve added some yoghurt, passionfruit and silver sparkles to this one, to make it more interesting:
At this time of year I’m usually completely fed up with apples. However the summer fruit is not quite in season and expensive. I often make a batch of stewed apples and / or pears.
- spoon this on your cereal in the morning
- or take it to work as a snack with some yoghurt.
What about fruit juice?
Fruit juice is okay as an occasional alternative to eating actual fruit. However, it’s not as good as eating the actual fruit. While fruit juice contains most of the vitamins and minerals of fresh fruit, you’re missing out on all the fibre. Plus, because such a lot of fruit goes into making one juice, they can be high in kilojoules, so drink sparingly and not every day.
For more information, take a look at my post: how healthy are juices.
- You can also put fruit on your cereal in the morning – if you’re avoiding bananas, then grate up some apple, or use some tinned fruit.
- Apples, oranges, grapefruits, dates can be added to salads.
- Grated apple also goes well with cream cheese and sultanas in a sandwich (one of my personal favourites).
Another non-fruit eater contemplates converting to rockmelon . . .