We are always told that both adults and children should follow “2+3”, but what are counted towards the 2 servings of fruits and 3 servings of vegetables?
Do your children eat enough from the food you prepared for them? Let’s talk about fruits first. A child over 3 years old should eat 1 to 2 servings of fruits each day, and 1 serving of fruits is approximately defined as one of the followings:
- 2 pieces of small-sized fruits (e.g. plum).
- 1 piece of medium-sized fruit (e.g. orange, apple, kiwifruit).
- 1/2 piece of large-sized fruit (e.g. banana, grapefruit, star fruit).
- 1/2 cup of cut-up fruits or berries (e.g. watermelon,
cantaloupe, honeydew melon, cherries, strawberries).
- 1/2 cup of other types of fruits (e.g. grapes, lychees).
- 1/4 cup of dried fruits without added sugar or salt (e.g. raisin, prune).
- 3/4 cup of fresh fruit juices without added sugar (e.g. fresh orange juice with pulp).
There are different types of fruits and each of them has different taste, texture and nutrition, providing vitamins and minerals such as vitamins A and C, folic acid and potassium, as well as plenty of carbohydrates, water and dietary fibers. Parents should have their children forming the habit of eating different fruits so as to let them have a balanced intake of nutrition and grow healthily.
Citrus fruits such as orange, pomelo, grapefruit, lemon, tangerine, etc. are sweet and sour and juicy, which can be occasionally made into juices for drinking or salad dressings; apple and pear are crispy and sweet, making them ingredients suitable for stir-frying, stewing or making cold dishes like salad. Berries such as strawberry, blueberry, banana, etc. can be mixed with milk / soy milk as fruity milkshake or used as the ingredients for cakes and pastries. Melons such as watermelon, honeydew melon, papaya can be diced into cubes as sweet soup and jellies, which natural fructose makes desserts healthier.