I’m sure many other moms will understand my challenge of getting my two teens to opt for fruit when snacking over other less healthy choices like cookies or ice cream. I don’t mind them having the other stuff sometimes, but I’d like them to reach for some fruit at least half the time without me having to constantly remind them. I found that many weeks I’d end up throwing out some of the fruit I had in my refrigerator produce drawer which had gone uneaten and was spoiled (of course I rarely threw out spoiled junk food!). It was frustrating.
Just recently I read an article about how setting out a bowl of fruit increases consumption. Hmmm …okay, I figured it was worth a try. I have a center island in my kitchen so I chose a large glass bowl and at my weekly grocery store visit I selected a variety of produce I could leave out like pears, apples and bananas. I washed them, put them in the bowl on the island and told the kids if they wanted a snack they should feel free to grab some fruit. Much to my surprise the bowl was emptied before the end of the week!
After the first week I modified the amount of fruit I bought by just a bit so that it would last us throughout the entire week, but I found that my husband also took an apple here or there (he has to be careful about how much fruit he consumes as he’s Type 1 diabetic). I also discovered that I had extra ice cream left over at the end of the week, which NEVER happens–amazing! I suppose it’s the whole “out of sight, out of mind” idea and when I had the fruit in the produce drawer the kids didn’t really think about it, but when I set it out they saw it and readily grabbed it for a snack.
Most challenges–well, almost no challenges are this simple in my house so I had to share this success with you. If your kids are like mine give this idea a try. If they’re younger you might even let them help you select which fruit you place in the bowl to increase their engagement. Good luck–I hope it works for you!