Almost all parents I know are always trying to feed their kids fruits in some form or the other. And why not? They're packed with essential vitamins and a whole host of nutrients. But it's imperative that kids are fed fruits the correct way for maximum health benefits. Enlisted below are the top 5 things to avoid while serving fruits.
Not washing fruits
The first rule of eating a fruit is to wash it thoroughly before consumption. Fruits are often coated with pesticides, bacteria and dust from the roadside. Failure to wash them could cause severe stomach upset and other health issues. Each fruit therefore should be washed with room temperature water thoroughly before consumption. Fruits like strawberries, grapes or cherries should be soaked in water for 5 to 10 minutes before consumption, in order to get rid of all the pesticide and dust. Potassium Permanganate or vinegar could also be used to clean fruits of pesticides and bacteria.
- Potassium permanganate: In a bowl of water, add small quantity of potassium permanganate so that the water turns light pink. Soak fruits for 5 minutes in this solution and thereafter rinse under tap water thoroughly. Excess quantities of potassium permanganate can be harmful, so be careful that the water is just light pink and not dark.
- Vinegar: Add a cup of vinegar and a spoon of baking soda to 3 cups of water and store in a spray can. Spray the vinegar solution on the fruits; let them stand for 30 minutes and then rinse under tap water thoroughly. Vinegar is helpful in removing wax and bacteria, especially from over glossy fruits such and apples and pears.
Peels of fruits are rich in fibre and many vital minerals. Fibre is very good for digestive health, lowers cholesterol, prevents from colon cancer and keeps blood sugar in control. One should therefore avoid peeling fruits like apple, chikoo (sapota), pear, skin of orange or sweet lime, figs, grapes, jamun etc.
Cutting or juicing fruits a long time before consumption
Fruits are packed with vitamin C and many B complex vitamins that get destroyed when exposed to light or heat. If cut fruits or juice is left to stand on the shelf or in the refrigerator for a very long time, a considerable loss of these vitamins take place. Hence, fruits once peeled or juiced should be consumed immediately.
Straining the juice
Just like the peel, the pulp of fruits contain high quantities of fibre. Straining juices or milkshakes result in the loss of fibre. You can deseed fruits before juicing or blending into a milkshake to avoid straining.
Adding sugar to juices or shakes
Fruits contain natural sugar called fructose which adds sweetness to juices or milkshakes. Adding table sugar increases the sugar content of the juice and consumption of very high sugar over a long period of time can result in weight gain and diabetes. Besides, over-sweetened juices and shakes are a habit that's very hard to kick. Instead of adding table sugar, use ripe fruits which are naturally sweet for juicing or blending into a milkshake.
Can you think of any other ways in which we go wrong with fruits? I'm sure we'd all like to know. Do share your thoughts in the comments section below.