The most popular fruit among U.S. children are hands-down apples, a news study suggests.
Apples represent about 20 percent of the fruit that children ages 2 to 19 eat each day. The second most liked fruits are bananas, which account for 5.8 percent of the children’s daily fruit intake.
It is recommend that, depending on their sex and age, children should eat at least one to two cups (8.3 – 17 ounces/ 246.6 – 481.9 grams) of fruit each day. The study shows that, on average, children eat about 1.25 cups (10.4 ounces/ 294.8 grams) per day.
The researchers also found that half of the fruit intake came in the form of whole fruit. The healthiest form of the fruit is the whole fruit because it contains fibre and it has no sugar added to it.
Juice came in second place, researchers found. The juice accounted for one-third of the children’s daily fruit intake. Katherine Tallmadge, a registered dietician, says that 100 percent fruit juice is actually very good for your health. The problem only occurs when the children’s only fruit intake comes from juice. Tallmadge says that children should be exposed to the real fruit. 4 ounces (113.3 grams) of juice each day should be enough, and the rest of the fruit intake should consist of whole fruit, advises Tallmadge.
Dried fruit accounted for 0.6 percent of the children’s daily fruit intake. “I’m surprised they’re not eating more,” Tallmadge stated.
The most preferred fruit amongst children was the apple. Although apples are very healthy, Tallmadge says that variety is key to an even healthy diet. Children should be encouraged by their parents to eat other types of fruit as well.
According to Tallmadge, the more variety of fruit we eat, the more nutrients we get, because each fruit has its own combination of specific nutrients. By exposing children to several different fruit, the likelihood of them eating more fruit when thy are older is much higher, says Tallmadge.
Parents should make fruit more accessible to children who do not like consuming fruit on a regular basis. For instance, instead of keeping the apple whole, they could cut it into smaller pieces and store in the the refrigerator. That way, children will see it more as a tasty snack. Tallmadge recommends that fruit should always be visible and accessible.
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