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Fruits and vegetables are important to everyone, including small babies and children. They provide essential nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber. They support heart health, they help strengthen the immune system and they reduce the risk of many types of cancers. Parents are advised to introduce fruits and vegetables early in a child’s life so it simply becomes the food they eat. They can be introduced as pureed or cooked at the age of five months and chopped, seedless and skinless fruits can be introduced at the age of 10 months.

The Johns Hopkins Aramco Healthcare Clinical Nutrition and Food Services Division provides the following tips to help children eat more fruits and vegetables.

  • Parents, lead by example and consume fruits and vegetables in front of your children.
  • Encourage your children to eat fruits and vegetables at a young age.
  • Include your children when grocery shopping and encourage them to select fruits, vegetables and other healthy options.
  • Explain the health benefits of eating fruits and vegetables and avoiding unhealthy food options.
  • Slice fruits and vegetables in fun and interesting shapes and children-sized portions
  • Serve a variety of brightly colored fruits and vegetables.
  • Keep fruits and vegetables washed and ready in the refrigerator as convenient snacks.
  • Serve milk or yogurt as blended smoothies. Do NOT add sugar.
  • Add fruit to their breakfast plate or to desserts.
  • Add vegetable slices to sandwiches, rice or pasta dishes and soup.
  • Include washed and cut fruits and vegetables in your children’s school snacks.