How will you know if your child is eating too much fruit? The recommendation for 5 a day includes 3 vegetables and 2 portions of fruits.
What is a portion of fruit?
A portion of fruit and veg is defined as about handful? That is the same measurement for children and adults, obviously they have much smaller hands than us!
A whole apple or whole banana is a lot to a baby.
Don’t restrict healthy foods
Fruits are REALLY good for us, full of antioxidants, vitamins and minerals, as well as fibre that feeds our gut microbes. We don’t need to restrict fruit, it’s about balance.
There are only so many meals/snacks in the day.
If your child is eating 4-5 portions of fruit a day, then they might not be making room for vegetables. If they are also eating 5-6 portions of veg a day then you’re really winning!
- Aim for around 3-5 vegetable portions and 2 portions of fruit each day.
- Don’t worry if they have more than 2 portions of fruit in a day, but perhaps consider if there are opportunities for more veg in the diet
- Give veg sticks as a snack alternating with fruits – raw cucumber, red pepper, celery or carrot for older children with molar teeth
- Offer pieces of cooked vegetables for smaller children as snacks
(In adults a portion / handful normally adds up to about 80g, but I prefer to use visual references like the size of our hands rather than weighing foods.)
Add protein and fats to snacks
Most children love fruit and can happily eat it all day.
At snack times and meal times focus on adding healthy fats and protein to their diet, such as oily fish, avocados, and ground nuts and seeds.
Healthy protein and fats are essential to growth. They also keep children fuller for longer, which means you aren’t being asked for snacks all day long!
Anna is a Nutritional Therapist working with babies and children in Bristol and online. Weaning Consultations, and 1:1 Children’s Health appointments available to support the whole family.