Lifestyle and Parenting blog based in Surrey.

Friday 22 June 2018

What do you do when your toddler doesn't eat fruit...

This post was written in collaboration with BEAR

Before I had Sophie, when I thought about the type of parent I’d be, there were many things I said I’d never do when it came to food and snacking:

I’d never feed my child snacks to keep them busy going around the supermarket, all food would be eaten at the table and all snacks would be healthy and nutritional.

But boy oh boy, most of those ‘rules’ were thrown about the window very early on!

When Sophie hit 18 months she decided that she’d no longer eat fresh fruit, which, to my despair, she kept up for nearly a year and a half!  This made choosing healthy snacking choices even harder for my fussy eater. Sophie loved dried fruit and fruit puree which I incorporated into her diet, along with ‘toddler snacks’ One of Sophie’s favourite of these are BEAR Yoyos, but I was always a little wary about how much sugar they contained, and how healthy they really were.

During half term, on a rainy Tuesday, Sophie and I were invited to London with a group of other mums to the 'BEAR Kitchen’ to learn what goes into their Yoyos and have a go at making them for ourselves.

Being a biology teacher, I was really interested in all the science behind the nutritional information.  I had thought that fruit puree would be ‘better’ for Sophie than dried fruits in my bid to get some fruit into her diet. However, this isn’t actually the case as in the production process of purees, the cellular structure of the fruit  starts to break down and much of the fibre is lost, and the vitamin and mineral content is reduced (due to the pasteurization in the manufacturing process). However, with BEAR products, the fruit is gently mashed rather than liquidized so they retain a higher level of fibre and as they are baked at very low temperatures this helps to maintain a higher vitamin and mineral content.

I was also surprised that the ingredients for the BEAR YoYos are only fruit and veg. We made ours using 5 strawberries, 2 apples and a pear, removing only the core and pips of the latter two fruits. That’s all. So BEAR Yoyos actually count as one of your five a day and contain the same amount of natural fruit sugar as a small apples - no added sugar. This made me feel so much better - during Sophies’ fruit refusal she was actually getting the goodness from other sources and she loves BEAR products that they count as a ‘treat’ too. 


Thankfully Sophie is eating fresh fruit again, which I owe to my ever patient mum. As she started nursery school at Easter and she had to bring fruit for her break time snack - what was I going to say to her teachers?! So a few months before, we started operation fruit-eating in ernest. We started off giving her the tiniest pieces of pear with a chocolate reward for eating them (needs must). Since then we’ve gone larger with portion sizes and she now eats pretty much all fruits, not necessarily without complaint, but we'll get there. So Sophie started nursery school confidently taking in her pear (albeit chopped up with all the skin taken off!) but we’ve progressed and now she will take a banana - much less morning prep needed!

I do tend to keep a pack of BEAR Yoyos in my handbag when we are out and about, as a bribe, distraction, tummy filler or to make up part of Sophie's packed lunch. As they are so convenient; I know that she loves them (so do I, if I’m allowed to share…) they take a bit of time to eat, so aren’t inhaled and more instantly demanded and when it comes to the summer, they aren’t going to go off in the heat. Perfect.
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