Consumer Reports: Getting kids to eat more fruits

Next to the most popular fruit, apples, kids get a lot of their fruit from juices. Consumer Reports says fruit juices are not the best choice, because they have less fiber, and more calories and sugar than eating a whole fruit. So here are Consumer Reports' tips for getting your kids to eat more whole fruit.

When your kid eats different types of fruit, it provides her with a variety of healthy nutrients. So, switching up the fruit you put in her lunchbox is a good thing.

If your child is a picky eater, try these four tips to make whole fruits more appealing.

One: Let them pick. Whether it's at the store or a trip to the farmer's market, children are more likely to try something new if they choose it themselves.

Two: Make it irresistible. Pack fruit in an interesting way, sliced and packed in a cute container, or kebab them! Kids are more likely to try a new fruit when it's with something they already enjoy.

"It's a good idea to mix it up," said Consumer Reports Nutrition Expert Ellen Klosz. "Especially if kids like one fruit over another, combine bananas with blueberries, or apples with pears."

Three: Smooth moves. Fruit is so much more fun in a fresh smoothie, made with low-fat or fat-free milk or plain yogurt. And, there's an added benefit to eating blended fruits.

"Smoothies are better than drinking juice because you get the fiber that's in the fruit," Klosz said.

Four: A good rule is "Fruit first." Before allowing candy, chips, or other less-than-healthy snacks, urge them to have some fruit first. Chances are the urge for the first snack will subside.

"If you put out some clementines, or some cut up peaches, they'll gobble those up and they'll forget about anything else," Klosz said.

And maybe the most important way to get more fruit in your child's diet? Setting the example, yourself.

And how much fruit should our children be getting? Consumer Reports says kids under 4 should eat a cup. Children 4 to 13 should eat a cup and a half, and kids 14 to 18 should have two cups of fruit a day.

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