A piece of fruit is a beautiful thing. And because it's packed with flavour, nutrients and fibre, fruit is also an important food group that helps kids stay healthy, grow and develop.
Of course, children can be discerning diners and to whet their appetite, the Better Health Channel recommends that parents offer kids a variety of fruit. In fact, when it comes to little tummies, variety is more important than quantity.
So whether you serve it sliced, diced, peeled, pureed, stewed, baked, dried or frozen, here are 10 ways to make fruit a-peel-ing to children.
1. Fruity animals
Food art makes fruit look tastier to tots, and the good news is that you don't have to be Picasso to create something fun. Kids will go wild for easy apple owls, orange fish and banana sheep, or else get creative and come up with your own invention test.
2. Celery snails and caterpillars
Combining fruit and veg, Woman's Day has this cute recipe for tasty grub. To make edible caterpillars, just fill some celery stick 'bodies' with peanut butter or cream cheese, then add grapes, blueberries and baby tomatoes. And for the snails, add 'shells' made of round slices of apple, orange and kiwi fruit.
3. Watermelon pizza
Hawaiian pizzas might be sprinkled with pineapple, but a watermelon pizza is really fruity! Just spread some watermelon wedges with cream or yoghurt, then top with fruit and fresh mint. And if you're feeling a bit fancy, add vanilla essence to a ricotta and cream cheese mix instead.
4. Homemade fruit roll-ups
Three-ingredient fruit leathers come from the oven, not aisle five. And with combos like strawberry and raspberry, apple and date or banana and strawberry, your child will want to roll up, roll up for a taste.
5. Rainbow fruit skewers
Packed with goodness, these colourful kebabs are lots of fun for little leprechauns to eat. Just slide fruit pieces (like strawberries, mandarin, pineapple, kiwi fruit, blueberries and purple grapes) onto wooden skewers, then trim off the pointy ends.
6. Apricot bites
Dried apricot is a tasty source of vitamin A, vitamin E and potassium, and these energy balls help children (and grown-ups) power through the day. Made with almonds, oats, dried apricots and shredded coconut, they're great balls of flavour.
7. Apple and banana chips
Whether you crisp them up or leave some chewy, apple chips are a healthy alternate to potato crisps. Just core and slice four apples, sprinkle with cinnamon and bake. Then go bananas making some two-ingredient banana chips. They’re easy peasy lemon squeezy.
8. Chocolate-dipped fruit cones
9. Fruit sandwiches
Vegemite sangers and cheese rolls are crowd-pleasers for kids, but why not try a peanut butter fruit sandwich? With slices of strawberry added in, it's a twist on the old favourites. Alternatively, skip the bread completely and sandwich some cheese between slices of apple and pear.
10. Fruit smoothies
Smoothies are a great way to whizz up colour, flavour and nutrients in one glass. So the big question is, which of Mom Junction's recipes will your child like best – Green grape, banana, blueberry, strawberry, kiwi-apple or peach-strawberry?