Report finds children under 5 not eating enough fruits and veggies

Are your children eating fruits and veggies daily? According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, many children between the ages of 1 and 5 are not.

However, they are regularly drinking sugar-sweetened beverages.

“So the CDC report that children age one to five don’t eat enough fruits and veggies was not necessarily surprising to me just with patterns I see talking with families in clinic every day,” said Jennifer Hyland, a pediatric registered dietitian for Cleveland Clinic Children’s.

Hyland said there are a couple of reasons why kids may not be eating as many fruits and vegetables as they should.

One factor could be their own parents aren’t eating them regularly, so the child isn’t exposed to them.

Another is the child wasn’t introduced to them at a young enough age, so it doesn’t taste as appealing.

And finally, fresh food availability could also pose a challenge for some communities.

Hyland said it’s very important for a child to eat fruits and vegetables to help with their health and development.

“If they’re not eating fruits and vegetables, they’re not getting the fiber intake that they need and kids and adults alike don’t get enough fiber. Fiber is going to help regulate the blood sugar, help with hunger and satiety, help with bowel movement patterns, so fiber is really important,” she emphasized. “Also, just simply vitamins and minerals, also micronutrients, like zinc and other things are going to be in fruits and vegetables, so what they’re missing out on is a problem.”

Hyland suggests introducing fruits and vegetables at an early age.

She also recommends letting kids pick what they want to try and avoid lecturing them about how healthy a food is, otherwise a child may assume it’s not tasty.