Our PhunkyFoods Strive for 5! message highlights to children the importance of eating at least five portions of different fruits and vegetables every day, as per scientific evidence and in-line with government guidelines.
At the end of this page you will find a PDF version of this information. You can download it, print it out and stick it on your fridge or noticeboard to help you and your family to be able to plan your way to 5 a day.
Why strive for 5?
As well as looking and tasting great, fruits and vegetables are packed with essential vitamins and minerals, phytochemicals (biologically active plant compounds) and fibre that are vital for good health. Many of these nutrients also act as powerful antioxidants, protecting the body from harmful pollutants that can cause disease. Getting children into the habit of eating a wide variety of fruit and vegetables could help maintain this healthy behaviour into early adulthood and beyond.
Eat a rainbow!
Different colours of fruits and vegetables give us different health benefits, because they contain different types of nutrients. By eating lots of different colours of fruits and vegetables we give ourselves the best variety of nutrients for good health.
On a budget?
- Keep costs down by buying canned fruit and veg. Buy canned fruit in juice (not syrup) and veg in water.
- Buy fruit and veg loose rather than pre-packaged.
- Fruit and vegetables are usually cheaper when they are in season.
- Fruit and vegetables are often cheaper at your local market.
- Replace your morning snack with a piece of fruit from home. A banana/ apple from the supermarket costs half the price of a chocolate bar/crisps.
- Don’t throw away vegetables that are about to go out of date. Use them in stews, soups and casseroles which you can freeze and eat another time.
- Look for supermarket deals on fruit and vegetables, such as BOGOF offers
Fruit juice and smoothies
Fresh, unsweetened fruit juices provide the body with vitamins and minerals, and water. Smoothies can also add fibre. However, the sugar naturally present in fruit juices/smoothies also adds energy to the diet and increases the risk of tooth decay. For kids;
- Stick to ONE 150ml glass per day (they only count as 1 of your 5-a-day anyway!)
- Drink only at mealtimes • Use a straw to avoid direct contact with children’s teeth
- Brush teeth twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste
Advice for parents of picky eaters
- If possible, eat your meals together and lead by example.
- Give small portions of vegetables and praise your child for trying, even if they only manage a little.
- Implement, enforce and stick to the rule that your children must TRY everything on their plates even if they don’t eat it all. Research shows us that children have to try new foods more than 10 times before they will accept them.
- If children won’t try; ask them to sniff the food, then simply lick the food, then if they’re willing ask them to nibble the food! Small steps and keep trying! Praise every lick; ignore every refusal and DO NOT EVER get drawn into a battle. • Remember: Children’s tastes change. One day they’ll hate something but a month later they may love it! Stick with it and don’t give up!
- Make fruit and vegetables fun! Make vegetable pictures on a plate, use colourful vegetables to add interest to your dinner, see what colour smoothie you can make.