Tips to help kids get their 5 a day, a review of Innocent's new Fruit and Veg smoothies & an exciting competition!

Like most parents I am keen for my children to love fruit and vegetables and although their intake isn't too bad I still have to work at encouraging them to manage their 5-a-day and so was  delighted to discover recently that they really like the new fruit and vegetable smoothies from innocent.

Innocent has launched an #innocentFiveADay campaign to prove to parents that it can be as easy as encouraging kids to drink their drinks and smoothies which I discovered (to my surprise) even my fussiest child enjoys. (see below for an exciting competition to win innocent smoothies for a whole class of children!)

We had been invited to a blogger event at Fruit Towers, innocent's HQ in London and just before we walked through the door I stopped and did my usual pre-event brief to the five children I had brought along.

"Best behaviour, lots of smiles and if you hate the product don't say Yuk or Ewwww- just say thank you then put it down."

I needn't have worried. Despite my hesitation at trying the new range of fruit and veg smoothies the children (aged 6, 9, 10, 14 and 16) all keenly poked a straw into the tetra packs and drank the lot!

children holding new innocent fruit and veg smoothies

Even Grumpy asked for more Pineapple, Apple and Carrot blend (which also contains pumpkin) while my fussy teenage daughter was first to move on to try a smoothie with Strawberries, Apple and (a dash of) Beetroot.

Now I am not generally a fan of smoothies but faced with such a good example from my own children I could hardly refuse to try them could I?

The first sip of the strawberry/apple/beetroot blend was a pleasant surprise. It was delicious! Not too thick so good for quenching thirst, great flavour and not too beetrooty! I hate beetroot so this was a relief! The pineapple, apple and carrot blend was sweeter and I preferred it but this was no surprise to me as pineapple is one of my favourite fruits.

The best thing about these new fruit and veg smoothies (and other innocent products) is that by including them in your child's lunchbox or as a snack you are providing them with one of their five a day without any mealtime battles over fruit and veg.

Made with 100% pure crushed fruit and veg these are the only kids fruit and veg smoothies on the market.

Innocent have revealed some interesting statistics which show that getting your children to eat the recommended amount of fruit and veg each day seems to get harder the older they get!

As a parent of teens who lapped up all sorts of fruit and veg purees as toddlers but now avoid many of the things they used to eat, I can definitely identify with these figures!

  • An encouraging 93% of 1-3 year olds consume the right amount of fruits and veggies each day
  • Studies show that only 10% of 11-18 year olds meet the 5-a-day fruit and veg recommendation
  • Girls are less likely to get their 5-a-day – just 7% of girls compared to 10% of boys
  • Between the ages of 1-4, fruit juices and smoothies are a useful source of vitamin C to help with the absorption of iron. Innocent kid’s smoothies also count as one of your child’s 5-a day

 I am not a fan of hiding vegetables and fruit in food although I know many parents enjoy some success grating them into pasta sauces etc.

I have always just kept offering a good selection and encourage the children to at least lick or nibble a new food. Making food fun helps too - broccoli is a favourite in our house as we all pretend to be giant dinosaurs munching tiny broccoli trees.

Changing the way you serve them might also help. Sweet potato mash was not a hit but homemade sweet potato fries made with a tiny amount of olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika is a current fave.

Try roasting peppers and tomatoes to make them sweeter, encourage children to make (or help make) their own fruit salads, stir fries  and soups, or try serving burritos, fajitas and other "build it yourself" meals with fillings offered in "help yourself" bowls which in our house seems to result in the children adding ingredients they wouldn't normally try.

Making fruit and veg heads and painting with fruit and veg at innocent's Fruit Towers
During innocent's fruit and veg fest at Fruit Towers the children got to make fruit and veg head pictures, paint with fruit and vegetables and make their own smoothies - it proved a great way for them to learn more about different fruit and vegetables and made them curious about trying some they had been less keen on eating previously!

The lovely people at innocent have offered a fabulous prize for one of my lucky readers. Enter my simple competition and you could win tasty innocent smoothies for an entire class at a UK school of your choice- what a treat and a great way to introduce children to fruit and veg in a new way helping them to be happy AND healthy.

Win innocent smoothies for an entire class (UK only)