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How to get your fix of fruit

Posted Feb 28 2011 2:06am
You probably already know why eating fruit is good for you – it’s full of fibre, vitamins and minerals. But there are ways to make eating fruit a delight, and ways to make it so boring that you’ll avoid it. There’s nothing worse than being faced with dry, old, flavourless fruit and feeling like you have to force yourself through it because you ‘should’.

We have an abundance of fresh delicious fruit available, with a continually changing selection as the seasons pass.  As I write this we’re heading into autumn in Australia: pears are back in season, and berry fruits and grapes are still abundant. Soon apples will reappear in a huge range of flavours and sizes, from tangy green granny smiths to the sweet crisp pink lady variety. Then in summer the stonefruit season will begin again – something to look forward to!

There’s so much fresh fruit available to us that there’s no reason to opt for processed or tinned fruit. Here are some ideas to help you get your two serves a day:

-          Make up a dessert platter of exotic fresh fruit pieces and fresh coconut.

-          Create a colourful fruit salad and top with a dollop of coconut cream.

-          Mash banana and spread on your wholegrain toast instead of butter.

-          On hot days, freeze thin slices of watermelon as a substitute for sugary icy poles.

-          Stir sweet fruit like pineapple pieces into plain unsweetened yoghurt.

-          Make up a ‘green smoothie’ of water, banana and a handful of baby spinach.

You can help children develop an appreciation for fresh fruit by offering it regularly:

-          Make up an attractive bowl of colourful fresh fruit in pieces that toddlers can handle: grapes, kiwi fruit, banana circles, orange wedges, strawberries. They’ll enjoy examining all the different shapes, textures and colours – they might even eat some!

-          Keep a bowl of fresh fruit visible at eye level in the fridge, so when the kids march into the kitchen and stand at the open fridge door looking for ‘something to eat’ they’ll have the suggestion right in front of them!

Fruit juice may seem to be an easy way to get your two serves a day – but be careful – its much higher in sugar because the fibre was removed by juicing. Children can easily gain a taste for sugary drinks this way, and sending a baby to bed with a bottle of fruit juice is an easy way to set yourself up for some extensive dentist bills later in life.

Like fruit juice, fruit straps and dried fruit is much higher in sugar than the fresh variety, and best left out of lunchboxes.

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