News of the 1st term 2019-2020
Encouraging children to eat fruit and vegetables
The benefits of eating fruit and vegetables have long been known. They are a source of fibre, vitamins and minerals, they are an important part of a balanced diet and they contribute to preventing obesity and other metabolic diseases such as hypertension.
Numerous studies have shown that the first two years of a child’s life offer a window of opportunity to establish their future diet and shape longer-term habits and food choices.
In the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, around 40% of boys and 30% of girls do not consume the servings of fruit and vegetables recommended by the WHO. (source: Vers un plan national alimentation saine et activité physique (Towards a national plan for healthy nutrition and physical activity))
We have put together some tips for how to help your child eat fresh fruit and vegetables:
From an early age:
Make fruit and vegetables more visible in your home
By keeping them within reach, you are only encouraging your children to eat them.
Take your child with you to buy fruit and vegetables so that they can discover, touch, smell and choose the produce that appeals to them.
Make cooking a family affair!
- Get your children involved in making simple recipes. A fresh fruit salad, a little orange juice and you're done. Cooking helps a child to develop their senses of smell, touch and taste; they learn to recognise smells and becomes familiar with the foods being given to them.
- Think about cutting up the fruit and vegetables that you buy. Lazier children will be more inclined to eat them if they are presented as slices or sticks.
- You can also make serve fresh fruit as smoothies, freshly squeezed juice or compote.
- On special occasions, you can serve the fruit with a scoop of ice cream.
For teenage children:
By this age, children will already be familiar with the recommendation of five portions of fruit and vegetables a day. However, they may not realise the importance of following this recommendation. You can make children aware of the health benefits of fruit and vegetables, the protective role they play in preventing diseases that may arise in adulthood such as cancer, cardiovascular diseases, obesity and diabetes.
Then be sure to add a portion of hot or cold vegetables to favourite dishes each day. Serve a pasta dish with a salad, or add slices of tomato and a few salad leaves to a favourite sandwich – that way, everyone is happy!
Improve your eating habits
Your eating habits influence those of your child. If you as parents do not eat fruit and vegetables, you reduce the chances of your child eating them.
Regularly offer seasonal fruits and vegetables to the whole family by offering a choice.
Fruit and vegetables served at school
At the European School, your children can discover a range of fruits and vegetables every day. Crudités, vegetable soups, selections of fresh and sometimes organic fruits, smoothies or compotes and fruit salads: this extensive choice means that your children can enjoy eating well and a balanced diet during their well-deserved lunch break.