Wholesome Child : Wholesome Child full
step 6: balance fruit How much fruit should my child be eating? The recommended guidelines for children are two serves of fruit per day. However, for children who are active and play sport, I recommend an extra serve of fruit as long as that fruit does not replace other foods in the diet. One serve of fruit is around 1/2 cup of fruit or 150g of fruit per serving. Organic vs non-organic Studies have shown that when children are switched to an organic diet there is a reduced amount of pesticide in their urine. When fruit is labeled organic it typically means that it has been grown in soil that has been free of most synthetic fertilisers or pesticides for at least three years. Children tend to consume more fruit than adults per body weight, so if you can afford to buy organic it makes sense to do so, especially when it comes to fruit that tends to have the highest concentrations of pesticide residue (typically those not peeled before eating). When out shopping, take a copy of the Environmental Working Group’s 2016 ‘Dirty Dozen’ list of fruit and veg that contain the most pesticides and the ‘Clean Fifteen’ list of those with the lowest pesticide load (hint: they all have a thick skin). And remember if you are peeling non-organic fruits, you are losing important nutrients, like fibre, contained in the skin. BUY ORGANIC: 1. Strawberries 2. Apples 3. Peaches 4. Grapes 5. Cherries 6. Tomatoes 7. Cherry tomatoes BUY CONVENTIONAL: 1. Avocados 2. Pineapples 3. Mangos 4. Papayas 5. Kiwi 6. Honeydew melon 7. Grapefruit 8. Cantaloupe The pros and cons of dried fruit In its purest form (i.e. without any added sugar), dried fruit is just fresh fruit with the water removed. Drying, in fact, causes some nutrients to become more concentrated. One study found that antioxidants in dried cranberries, grapes and plums are twice as potent as those in the fresh fruits. Of course along with more potent antioxidants comes more concentrated sugar. Also, take note of the ingredient list: only the fruit should be listed. Watch for added sweeteners (sugar, corn syrup), particularly in tart fruits, like cherries and cranberries. Look for packages that say ‘no sulphites’, a preservative that maintains colour. While it might not look as appealing, brown and shriveled sun-dried fruit is healthier. PROS • Concentrated form of fibre, vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. • Can help ward off constipation. I’ve often seen young babies and children on laxatives and by introducing Apricot & Pear Compote, mild cases are easily resolved (see recipe on page 222). • Raisins, apricots, peaches, sun-dried tomatoes and figs provide iron for fussy eaters who refuse to eat meat or for vegetarians. • Figs, dates, apricots and prunes are a good source of calcium. CONS • Contributes to dental cavities more than chocolate by sticking to teeth. • It’s not as filling as whole fruit as the water has been lost. • Vitamin C and folate content can be diminished. • High in concentrated sugars or fructose. Be smart with dried fruit Kids can easily scoff raisins by the handful, whereas it’s more difficult to eat too many grapes without feeling full. One small packet of raisins (42.5g) contains 30g of sugar or six teaspoons! Avoid buying packaged portions and offer dried fruit in small amounts: 1.5 tbs of sultanas (about the size of a child’s handful), four apricot halves or 30g of dried mango. 205 you know? Did A banana is made up of around 25% sugar making it an average choice for breakfast as it will give your child an initial energy boost followed by a mid-morning crash. Serving a banana with porridge or plain yoghurt will slow down the release of sugar into the blood, making it a great choice.