Wholesome Child : Wholesome Child full
step 6: balance fruit It’s especially important to avoid acidic fruit, like tomatoes, in cans as this speeds up erosion and the BPA is able to leach into the food. Wherever possible, choose fruit preserved in glass bottles over cans. DEHYDRATED You can go the whole hog and buy a dehydrator or simply slow-cook fruit in the oven. Thinly sliced apple slices, take two hours or less in the oven to transform into crisp, sweet chips free of the additives you often find in store-bought versions. FREEZE-DRIED Freeze-drying preserves fruit by removing 98% of its water content. This prevents fruit from spoiling, while still maintaining most of its flavour, colour, texture, and nutritional value – plus it adds delicious crunch. Research has shown that while freezedried fruits contain slightly lower amounts of certain vitamins, they are rich in antioxidants and fiber. Because freeze-dried fruits lack water, like dried fruits they are highly concentrated, which means they contain more fructose, so use sparingly to sprinkle on yoghurt or oatmeal. Is it OKay to eat fruit at night? Giving your child a piece of fruit after dinner can have nutritional benefits. Fresh fruits are low-calorie options that supply nutrients like fibre and potassium. A bowl of fresh berries or a banana, loaded with satiating fibre and relaxing tryptophan are both good choices. Cherries contain melatonin, an important natural chemical related to healthy sleep rhythms. However, be aware that fruit can make kids pee, so encourage them to go before they get into bed. Goal 6: Cook with your kids Children learn through play and experience and there is no better way to expand a child’s repertoire than by cooking delicious meals with mum, dad or another grown-up. Not only is it a fun and engaging experience, it is also an important teaching and development tool for all ages. For time-poor parents, it’s also an excellent way to combine play with the daily routine of meals. For the fussy eaters I see in my practice, preparing meals together is an essential part of their journey towards healthy eating. However, I truly recommend it for all kids, no matter their age and interest in food. In my house, Sunday mornings are the best quality family time. My kids love preparing a special family breakfast with me. My son’s favourite part is tasting – whether sucking on limes, trying cacao powder or sampling sweet potato puree, he taste-tests all of my ingredients. It always surprises me how adventurous he’ll be when he has his chef’s apron on. I think this is partly due to the fact that we started cooking together when he was very young. These days he also knows the difference between 1/2 cup and 1/3 cup and how many 1/4 cups make a whole cup. My three-year-old daughter is fast becoming a fan of cooking too. The rule in my kitchen is that once the food is prepared we all have to taste it, but no one is forced to eat it if they don’t want to. Often, one kid loves something while the other rejects it but because they feel safe and there are no expectations, they are eager to cook with me. Children also learn to accept new foods through role-modelling, repetition and exposure and there is no better way to expose children to a variety of ingredients than by choosing a recipe that you and your child would like to prepare together. Children love to eat what they’ve helped to make. Here’s how to get started: Make a list of ingredients. Depending on the age of your child, they can either write the words or draw little pictures of what is needed. Go to the grocery store together or if you are a working parent and this is not possible, choose your ingredients together online. Either way let your child pick ingredients off supermarket shelves or unpack a box that arrives at your doorstep. All this time you are exposing your child to these ingredients – and exposure and repetition are key. Kids love picking vegetables, fruit or herbs and seeing them transform into a dish. Grow your own if you are fortunate enough to have a backyard where you can grow a veggie patch. If you do not have space for vegetables, a few pot plants with herbs on a windowsill or balcony will do the trick. COOKING WITH YOUR CHILD WILL: ✓ develop fine motor skills. ✓ help him learn about nutrition. ✓ help with desensitisation. ✓ add to his food appreciation. ✓ develop his vocabulary. ✓ develop self-esteem. ✓ encourage learning about maths. 211 you know? Did Once your child has had his two-three serves of fruit per day, offer vegetables as a snack instead.