Tropical fruits are absolutely packed with essential vitamins and minerals to keep our bodies strong, our eyes bright and our skin clear. They really are nature’s medicine!
We all want our kids to eat more fresh fruit (read our previous post for kid-friendly tropical fruit recipes), and to appreciate the importance of their health benefits. So, what’s the secret?
Make it Fun!
OK, lecturing your kids isn’t going to work. But what if you excite them by talking about the ‘super powers’ of tropical fruits? You don’t even have to mention individual vitamins or minerals.
Look up the nutritional value of each fruit, and find ways to make the information relatable and fun for your kids, depending on their interests. There are so many super powers to choose from!
Pineapples are loaded with nutrients, like vitamins C and B, fibre, and manganese. Their super powers are to boost immunity, aid digestion, reduce inflammation, speed up healing, and support bone strength.
To ward off bugs, or if your child has a tummy ache, a bump or a cut, just reach out for some Super Hero Pineapple Power!
Limes provide an excellent source of vitamins C and B, folic acid, and potassium. Like pineapples, they are super fighters of coughs, colds and infections.
When your child has the sniffles or catches a chill, tell them they need a spoonful of Super Hero Lime Liquid! Of course, you might want to add the juice to a glass of water or mix it into guacamole first!
Avocados are one of the world’s most-recognised superfoods; rich in potassium, fibre, vitamins E and K, plus good fats. Their principle super power is to strengthen your heart since they are shown to improve heart health, help prevent heart disease and other related heart conditions.
If your child is feeling blue, they could benefit from a dose of the Super Hero Avocado Angel!
Mangoes contain high levels of fibre, pectin and Vitamins A, C, K, E and B. Their super powers are to promote clear skin, improve eyesight, and shield against diseases.
Help your kids develop their ‘x-ray vision’ or help older kids to fight off any dreaded spots by calling for the Super Hero Mango Magician!
With older kids you could also talk about the fruit’s origin and any fun facts. For example, avocados originate in Mexico where the fruit was so valued by the Aztecs that they used avocados as tributes or offerings to guests. Avocados were also a symbol of love for the Aztec people, which ties into their heart health benefits!
Once you’re done, why not encourage the kids to draw pictures of their favourite super hero tropical fruit to help them process the information?
Be a Hero Role Model
You could also talk about the health benefits that you yourself are seeking when you eat tropical fruits. And remember that kids enjoy watching you eat. After all, it’s how they learn this crucial life skill!
Show them how much you love eating pineapples, avocados, limes, mangoes and coconuts by eating in front of them, and explore the fruits together to instil positive eating habits.
Share platters of cut pineapples, avocados and mangoes at snack time, offer yoghurt with cut fruit after meals, enjoy a bowl of avocado guacamole drizzled with lime juice together with tortilla chips.
Or for a treat, how about dipping sticks of pineapple or mango cubes into chocolate, then chopped nuts or desiccated coconut? Delicious!
While you eat you could talk about the various super hero health benefits, as well as the colours, shapes, textures and flavours of each fruit. Chat about which fruits and veggies you’ve eaten that day, and discuss how you could hit your Five-a-Day tomorrow.