Update #14: Inspiring Kids to Eat Tropicals

Help children develop a life-long love of pineapples, limes, avocados, mangoes and coconuts with our favourite recipes and ideas.

Sweet, healthy and delicious… what’s not to like about tropical fruits? Well, when it comes to kids, especially little ones, often encouraging them to eat any fruit is easier said than done!

But there’s so much to gain from developing a taste for the likes of pineapples, limes, avocados, mangoes and coconuts. They’re wonderfully nutritious, they’re incredibly versatile in both meals and drinks, plus they taste amazing. 

So, here are some recipe ideas to get your kids interested in tropicals! There’s so much to try, and we hope there’s a suggestion that resonates with your child.

Find Child-Friendly Recipes

Have a think about which dishes your child loves to eat, and find a recipe that incorporates pineapples, limes, avocados, mangoes or coconuts. This will introduce them to the new flavours in a familiar way.

Luckily, tropicals are amazingly versatile – they’re perfect for sweet dishes but many, especially avocados, can be used in savoury dishes too. For babies, meanwhile, pineapples, avocados and mangoes make great purées either individually or combined.

What child doesn’t like pizza? Pineapples and mangoes work well as toppings on pizzas. Even avocado slices can be added after cooking. 

The same goes for BBQs. Grill rings of pineapple to serve with meat or vegetable kebabs, or blend pineapples and/or mangoes into salsas with a squeeze of lime. Tropical fruit salsas pair perfectly with tacos and fajitas, plus diced mango can really pep up an avocado guacamole.

Have you tried ‘Avo Dogs’? They’re so simple: just grill or BBQ sausages or hot dogs (either meat, vegetarian or vegan), pop into a bun, then add a dollop of mashed avocado on top, plus a drop of lime juice, if you wish! 

Avocado on toast can be simple or sophisticated, and super scrumptious. Here’s an avocado cheese melt that older kids will enjoy. 

Inspiring Kids to Eat Tropicals

Cake is always a winner with kids. Pineapple muffins and mango cupcakes work well. The juice and zest of limes make a beautifully zingy pound loaf. You can even use coconut oil instead of butter. 

Pancakes are also irresistible to kids. Try our recipe with pineapples and bananas. Or how about avocado ice cream, pineapple and coconut sorbet or mango sorbet? And, did you know you can make an incredible chocolate mousse out of avocados? Perfect for non-dairy eaters! 

You could try making a refreshing avocado and banana smoothie, a pineapple lemonade, or popsicles made from the juice of pineapples, mangoes and limes for those sunny days. 

Even slicing fruit like limes or pineapples to add to jugs of water can help children get used to the flavour in a non-overpowering way.

There are a whole host of tropical-fruit based recipes on the Internet. Or let the kids flick through your cookery books to choose their own!

Get The Kids Involved

Sometimes inspiring kids to eat fruit is not just about finding a recipe that works. It’s also about getting hands-on in the kitchen.

People learn by doing, and children are no exception. In fact, if kids help to prepare their food and drinks, they become more interested in the ingredients, and take pride in their creations. As a result, they are more likely to consume the end result.

Little kids can juice limes or mash avocados, and will have a lot of fun in the process! If you’re making smoothies, get them to help operate the blender – they’ll love watching everything get blitzed up! 

Inspiring Kids to Eat Tropicals

Older kids can help to chop or slice pineapples or mangoes, zest limes, and scoop out avocado flesh. Even if your little one is too young to safely hold a knife, they will certainly love getting their hands dirty by picking up the cut fruit to help make your creation. 

Allowing kids to become used to the texture and smells of a fruit is sometimes half the battle in encouraging them to try it. It can get messy, but when you have the time, getting kids involved in the preparation will pay dividends.

Remember, your child may need to see a new fruit 10 times or more before they are ready to try it.

Good luck!

The La Dona Family