Two Cool Ways to Get Kids to Eat Fruit!

By Beth

Popsicles and Smoothies; The No Bake Solution to Getting Picky Eaters to Love Fruit

One of the most confounding picky eating issues I have ever heard of is when kids refuse to eat fresh fruit. It’s sweet, it tastes great, and it often comes in fun colors and shapes and single-serving sizes. So, why would any kid refuse a serving?

My more jaded parent side believes that they refuse fruit simply because it’s healthy and we want them to eat it! There are more rational reasons, fortunately. For many kids, a soft texture or a peel is unappealing. For others who have gotten used to overpoweringly sweet processed foods and simplified artificial “fruit” flavors, the subtle complexity of a fresh peach may be unfamiliar taste bud territory.

So, how do we make fruit more, um, “apeeling?”

Since the temperature has been up in the triple digits, let’s focus on two no-cook ways to get past texture issues and neophobia (the fear of new foods): popsicles and smoothies.

The first time I “made” popsicles, or as my girl calls them, “popSTICKles,” she was amazed at my cooking prowess. “How did you do that, Mom?!” I didn’t come clean about how easy it is to pour blended juice and fruit into a popsicle mold. You have to take your wins where you can. Apparently, food on a stick is a win. Well, as long as it’s not fried butter on a stick. That’s just disgusting. This food on a stick means two servings of fruit or more for a child.

Here’s a basic formula for making popsicles that don’t contain artificial colors, flavors and high fructose corn syrup:

Basic Popsicles

Two cups no sugar added, natural fruit juice
8 oz. by weight, or three cups fresh or frozen fruit
¼ cup Sweetener, only if needed, *honey or agave.
*Do not give honey to children under a year old.

Blend together, pour in popsicle molds and freeze for at least five hours.

For combinations, try:

  • Cherry or berry juice with fresh strawberries
  • Mango juice with peaches or pineapple
  • Orange juice with bananas

If you don’t have a blender, you can still make popsicles! Take a mix of sliced fresh fruit such as kiwi, strawberries, blueberries and drop about ¼ cup into each popsicle mold. Pour in white grape juice or low-sugar lemonade and freeze. Fruit salad on a stick!

As you are blending up those popsicles, you might notice one day that you don’t have time to wait for that mix to freeze. Simply add more juice and serve as a smoothie! Smoothies work great as well if you are into that whole “stealth” nutrition thing. I’ve been known to mix up “Beet-Berry” smoothies around our house. Another vegetable that could work in a fruit smoothie would be carrot juice. As an added bonus, if you have leftover smoothie mixture, you can just freeze it into popsicles!

Basic Smoothie

Three cups no sugar added, natural fruit juice
8 oz. by weight, or three cups frozen fruit
¼ cup Sweetener, only if needed, *honey or agave.
*Do not give honey to children under a year old.

Vegetables, optional, replace ½ cup of juice with carrot juice, or add 1/3 cup peeled, roasted beets.

Combinations:

  • Beets, mixed frozen berries, and cherry juice
  • Orange and carrot juice with frozen bananas
  • Kiwi-strawberry juice with frozen strawberries

Our book, The Cleaner Plate Club, includes “popstickle” recipes; Peaches and Herb, Berry Balsamic, and Pineapple-Cilantro. There is also a Beet-Berry Smoothie that is loaded with phytonutrients and tastes so good, no one will ever know it has beets in it!

This entry was posted in By Beth, Healthier Eating, Recipes. Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Two Cool Ways to Get Kids to Eat Fruit!

  1. Monique says:

    This is great..I never thought it could be possible.I love Popsicle.. I really appreciate that you’ve shared this recipe. Thanks you so much..

  2. Marty Sinclair says:

    We are trying to reach Beth Bader about possibly speaking to our mom’s group in the Leawood, KS area this next spring. Please contact me by email if you could. Thank you in advance.

  3. Ashish Jain says:

    I’m going to save this for future use… my three month old is on breastfeed exclusively at this time…

  4. bethb says:

    Thanks, kudos to you for thinking ahead while your kiddo is still tiny. Congrats!

  5. reigna says:

    That’s great!.. Now I know what to do with my daughter when she resist to eat fruits. It becomes attractive because of the colors and the shapes.

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