Fruit and veg month is an initiative run by NSW schools from the 25th of August to the 19th of September. It aims to increase and encourage the consumption of fruit and vegetables amongst school aged children. The theme this year is ‘rainbow journey’. This will be educating children on the importance of choosing a variety of colours when eating fruit and vegetables. It is a great idea to get school canteens involved too!
How many serves of vegetables should a child aim for?
The image below is taken from the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating and illustrates how many serves of vegetables your child is recommended to each day, based on age and gender. This serve is set to promote good health and to keep children full so they do not turn to less healthy option like Tiny Teddies.
Tip to get more veg in to a child’s day
√ Incorporate vegetables at breakfast. If your child is having eggs or toast for breakfast, add some roasted tomato, baby spinach, avocado or mushrooms
√ Make an omelette and add a variety of vegetables e.g. onion, tomato, baby spinach, corn
√ Make a savoury pancake or fritter with lots of vegetables added
√ Make a mini pizza by using an English Muffin, topping with lots of vegetables and then sprinkling with fat reduced cheese
√ Add finely chopped or grated vegetables in to pasta sauces, rissoles, casseroles, curries, meatballs, burger patties and any other dish you can squeeze them into!
√ Serve vegetable sticks as a snack with some tzatziki
√ Add grated vegetables to sandwiches
√ Add a variety of different coloured veg to stir-frys
√ Serve main meals with salad vegetables or cooked vegetables – including pasta dishes that normally neglect veges!
√ Stuff vegetables with a meat and vegetable filling e.g. stuffed capsicum, stuffed pumpkin, stuffed zucchini
How many serves of fruit should a child aim for?
The image below represents the recommended number of serves a child is recommended to eat each day. A variety in colour and type is ideal.
It is best to opt for whole fruit as dried fruit can increase the risk of tooth decay and fruit juice has lost a lot of important nutrients to processing. If choosing canned fruit, avoid any syrups, and drain any natural juices before serving.
Tips to get more fruit in to a child’s day
√ It’s easy to incorporate fruit in to breakfast! Add to porridge, yoghurt, use banana as a topping on toast or even chopped up fruit on the side
√ Make a fruit smoothie
√ Offer fruit as a snack, pack in their lunch box
√ Freeze oranges, strawberries, mangoes or other fruits for snacks or dessert. This is usually a novelty for kids
√ Add fruit to salads e.g. mango, apple, pear
√ Make fruit kebabs
√ Stew fruit and serve with yoghurt after dinner or make a baked apple with cinnamon, oat and sultana stuffing, served with yoghurt
The above fruit and vegetable guidelines were taken from the Australian Guide to Healthy Eating which can be found by following the link below:
If you want your school to register:
For tips to get a canteen involved:
Contact us for results focused nutritional advice
This article was written by our dietitian Belinda Elwin who is a Dietitians Association of Australia member and Accredited Practising Dietitian and Nutritionist.
If you have questions about nutrition for your child, make an appointment. We‘ll provide you with a simple and effective routine targeted to your concerns. Contact us today.