Fruit and vegetables are very important for children. They are an excellent source of vitamins and many contain important minerals such as potassium, calcium and iron. They also contain fibre to keep the digestive system healthy.
Fruit and vegetables are usually low in fat (except for avocados), high in water and have significant amounts of carbohydrate, antioxidants and fibre. Avocados are full of healthy monounsaturated fats though, so they’re still good for your kids to eat.
You can preserve the nutrients in fruit and vegetables by preparing them just before serving.
Frozen and canned fruit and vegetables are also highly nutritious and are an excellent substitute if fresh fruits and vegetables are unavailable.
The different textures, flavours and colours of fruit and vegetables add variety and interest to your child’s diet. With such a huge range of vegetables to choose from, it is likely your child will find some favourites among the selection.
How much fruit and vegetables should my child eat?
You should introduce your child to fruit and pureed vegetables in small quantities at about 6 months of age. Keep it simple at first, then add variety.
By the age of 1, your child should be offered a lot of different fruits and vegetables. By the time your child is 2, they should be eating about 2 ½ serves of vegetables and 1 serve of fruit each day.
By the age of 9, this increases to 5 serves of vegetable and 2 serves of fruit a day.
What if my child refuses to eat fruits and vegetables?
Don’t worry — just keep offering them. You may need to offer a new food up to 10 to 15 times before your child will eat it. Always encourage children to have a taste of new fruits or vegetables and experiment with different ways of preparing or serving familiar fruits and vegetables. Perseverance will pay off in the end.
Learn more about eating without tantrums.
Learn more here about the development and quality assurance of healthdirect content.
Last reviewed: May 2021