A recent survey reports that about 20% of kids favor apples as their go to fruit. When you add apple juice to the mix that number jumps to 30%.
The good news is that whole fruits lead children’s fruit intake with 53% of their intake.
While apples are great sources of nutrition including much needed fiber, parents need to continue to encourage all types of fruits in the diet of children to give them the nutritional variety that is best for their growing bodies.
The unfortunate news is that only 40% of kids get their recommended daily dose of 2 cups of fruit. The survey shows that they are eating only 1 to 1 ½ cup per day.
Children also are getting less than desirable intake from fruit juices that are not 100% juice.
What can parents do?
- Pick whole fruits over juice
- When offering juice, be sure it is 100% juice with no added sugar
- Keep a variety of fruits available in the home ready to eat
- Store fruits in the refrigerator in easy reach when snack time comes
- Stock your fruit bowl in a convenient location on your kitchen counter
- Taste test different types of fruits with meals or as a dessert so that kids have a way to discover the tastes of fruits besides apple slices
- Let your kids pick their own from the produce department
- Do some food art that will peak their interest to try new things such as using cookie cutters for fun fruit shapes and skewers to make fruit kabobs
- Add something new to their lunch box or snack time
Here are some fun fruits to try that are easy to keep on hand with little prep except for washing:
These just need cutting:
Fruit is fun and refreshing. They are all vitamin and mineral packed and give quick energy for active kids.
Fruit is pretty easy to eat and keep on hand. Most varieties are portable and travel well for the grab and go needs of a busy family.
Giving our kids more options in addition to apples, apple juice and apple wedges will boost their nutrition and their acceptance of a variety of foods that will benefit them as they grow.