Making fruit fun: 10 ways to get kids to go bananas
Getting kids to eat healthy can sometimes be a challenge, but squeezing fruit into meals isn’t too difficult if you know ways to make it enjoyable and yummy.
After all, fruit is naturally low in calories, high in fiber, and full of important vitamins and minerals kids need in their diet. Plus, it tastes great! If your kids don’t like the texture of one fruit, or hate eating around a pit of another, get creative in the way you serve it. Cut slices, mash it up to make a sauce, or blend into a delicious drink.
Here are some imaginative suggestions to make fruit fun.
- Make a face
Create funny faces on the plate with a banana mouth, cherry eyes, and diced pineapple for hair. Be sure to top it off with a drizzled on yogurt mustache. Don't stop at human faces though — there are hundreds of animals you could make to make a fun surprise every day. Sliced bananas are the key here: they can be eyes, mouths, snouts, ears, and more! The possibilities are endless.
- Try shapes
Get tiny cookie cutters and make banana stars, watermelon hearts, strawberry moons, and more. You can even play tic-tac-toe if you make a bunch of Xs and Os and a board out of mango slivers. The different shapes will instantly make the fruit seem like something new and exciting that your kids wont be able to resist.
- Dip it
Make fruit even more delicious by serving it with an assortment of little dipping bowls filled with healthy toppings such as flavored yogurt, honey, or strawberry puree. Try them all and vote on which is the favorite combination.
- Stick it to me
Put a colorful array and variety of fruits on a skewer for a side dish with any meal. Use a small melon baller to make round chunks so you can vary the shapes and colors. Pineapples, bananas, and strawberries work particularly well, but feel free to get creative and even use the kebabs as a main meal. For example, this Chiquita recipe for tropical sausage and grilled banana kebabs is a great way of having fruit with dinner. For dessert, you can even add some sweets by interspersing a few marshmallows or pieces of chocolate.
- Think outside the box
Next time you’re decorating cupcakes or banana bread, forgo the sprinkles and frosting. Instead, swirl on a thick Greek yogurt topped with diced bananas and berries. The fruit will have the same sweet effect as traditional toppings, but with much less sugar.
- Hotdog anyone?
Get a laugh by making a fruity hotdog. Place half a banana on a hotdog bun and top with peanut butter, honey, and nuts. It will be enormous fun to eat and filling for the kids.
- Make banana sushi
To give your kids a taste of world food, roll a peeled banana in crushed nuts, sprinkles, shredded coconut, dried fruit, chia seed, crispy cereal, or a combination. Then slice into rolls and serve sushi style with chopsticks and bowls of jelly or peanut butter sauce for dipping. It’s the cutest after school snack ever.
- Play Mr. Potato Head
Remember the game we played as kids where you stuck eyes, ears, and a nose into a plastic potato? Build a “real” Mr. Kiwi or Orange Head. Use a round fruit as a base and stick a grape on a toothpick for a nose, banana slices for eyes, a peach slice for a mouth, and dip it into yogurt for a beard.
- Make banana popsicles
Kids associate popsicles with summer and happiness — we just associate them with sugar! For a healthier alternative that is also a filling snack, freeze bananas, dip them in chocolate, and roll them around in toppings such as desiccated coconut or even decorate them like animals! Leave them to set, and in no time at all you have banana popsicles, perfect for any time of year.
- Make smoothies
A great way to make fruit more fun for kids is to make it into something they can drink! Add juice, milk, yogurt, or other liquids to frozen fruit and you’ll have a delicious, thirst-quenching and cooling smoothie for an anytime snack. Or, for a faster fix, check out this delicious and healthy banana smoothie recipe that can be prepared in just five minutes!
Another way to get kids to eat something different is to get them to participate in the picking process. Once a week, take them to the store or farmer’s market and let them pick out a fruit of their choosing. Let them go wild and select something even you have never tried. Slice it, dice it, cook it. Soon your child will be eating fruit as if it were candy.