Fruits and vegetables are very important in a child’s life. They contain vitamins and minerals which are regarded as essential nutrients because of the many roles that they perform in the body like converting food into energy, repairing body cells, maintaining strong bones, healing wounds faster and also helping in digesting or breaking down certain foods better for the body system
Vitamins and minerals are just needed in small amounts by the body and when it is absent, it leads to some specific deficiencies. So here are some simple fruits and veggies that you can easily find available in markets, shops, traffic etc and include in your child’s lunchbox along with their main meal.
Apple – Chop into bite sizes for smaller kids and dip in apple or pineapple juice to stop it from browning due to oxidation. You can equally add this delicious fruit into foods like rice, macaroni, couscous (see apple couscous recipe here).
Banana – One of every child’s favourite fruit due to its soft sweetness. It is always better to leave it whole to avoid browning and getting squashed.
Orange and Tangerine – Make it easy by peeling off the back and breaking them apart into segments, so that they can be easily popped into the mouth.
Pear – Just like apples, chop and dunk in juice to reduce oxidation.
Carrots – This vegetable is good for snacking by just cutting into cubes or like chips. Add a peanut butter dip to go with it.
Cucumber – Same as carrots above. Remember to cut off the middle watery part that contains the seeds.
Mango – When in season, cut it up in cubes or strips. You can also add mango to rice or other dishes.
Grapes – These are sweet and a handful in a small snack pot is enough nutrition for them. For toddlers, you can cut the grapes into smaller pieces so that they can easily pick and chew them.
Watermelon – When in season, they are a good fruit to keep kids hydrated due to the water content in them.
Pawpaw – Best peeled and cut into cubes. It can be added to rice, spaghetti, noodles and the likes.
Strawberries – Ok, they are a not so common but thank goodness for the farmers in Jos Plateau State, more strawberries are getting into the Nigerian market. When you find them, add some for your kids too 🙂
With this little list, you can add a different fruit each day through Monday to Friday for your child.
Do you have any other easily available fruits or veggies that can be added to the list? Drop a comment below and lets add it here.
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