Fruity Patootie

By Theresa Albert, Toronto Nutritionist

Getting kids to eat fruit is rarely a problem; they are designed to love the sweetness of it. Although, I have known a few kids who just won’t eat it unless it is in a pie or crumble.  Spring/Summer is a brilliant time to encourage the enjoyment of fruit! I am a big fan of getting them out there to see fruit growing, pick it, prepare it, eat it, and learn how to cook it. We do know that kids are more likely to eat something that they understand and have invested in!

Any fruit can be turned into compote and any compote can be turned into a jam-like spread for toast or cookies, a topping for frozen yogurt or ice cream, a filling for pie or eaten right from the spoon. Compote can keep in the fridge for weeks and is an amazing source of nutrients and fibre. This is really the best way to guilt free dessert and kid compliance.

Early fruit season is May/June and both strawberries and rhubarb are ripe across the county.  I can remember the sour smell of rhubarb mingling with the sweet, bright, fruity smell of deep red strawberries in my mother’s kitchen.  A cool, shady activity of hulling the strawberries was frequently assigned to whichever kids were around. I am still not sure which of us was hoodwinking whom when half of the berries were consumed before they made it to her pot of rhubarb. We never got in trouble for our furtive nibbling so I think it was she hoodwinking us.

Feel free to switch up any fruit or berries in season. Be sure to clear fruit for allergies and sensitivities one at a time before you mix them together.  Some kids get a bright red rash around the mouth after eating berries and I have seen parents assume that it is just staining.  It may not be! Look carefully and then wade in fully.

Strawberry Rhubarb Compote

Recipe By: Theresa Albert, DHN, RNCP

Serving Size  : 8     Preparation Time 15

1/4       cup                         apple juice

1/2         teaspoons           cinnamon

6           cups                       rhubarb -- coarsely chopped

3           cups                       sliced strawberries

¼-1/2    cup                         honey or maple syrup

In large pot, combine apple juice, cinnamon and orange rhubarb.  Bring to a boil, turn heat down to medium and add strawberries, simmer for 10-15 minutes.  Stir in honey to desired sweetness.


About the Author:

Theresa Albert Theresa Albert

Theresa Albert is a nutritionist and food communications consultant. Her Food Network show,Just One Bite! aired for 5 years on both Food Network and BBC Kids. She is currently a trusted on-camera correspondent for CTV Newschannel as well as CBC and regular health expert on the daily lifestyle show, Steven and Chris which airs internationally.

Named one of Canada’s Top 25 Tweeters by Today’s Parent Magazine and one of’s 35 Favorite Bloggers, she is called for comment from every major magazine, newspaper and television outlet in Canada. She has a weekly column in the Metro Newspaper and regularly writes features for Today’s Parent, Canadian Family Magazine and blogs at Huffington Post.

Picture of Theresa Albert

Author: Theresa Albert

Theresa Albert is an on-camera food and health expert, nutritionist and writer who loves to spread the word on food. She is a Food Communications Specialist and Toronto Personal Nutritionist. Tweet with her at @theresaalbert & find her daily at

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