Does Your Child Eat Whole Fruits? Try Apples
Parents who struggle to get their children to eat more fruit may want to try offering apples.
This simple fruit, which comes in a variety of flavors and colors, was by far the most favorite fruit of more than 3,100 children ages 2 to 19 surveyed for a study recently published in the journal Pediatrics.
The study also found that most children are not eating nearly enough fruit in their diet. Only four in 10 children under the age of 18 ate the recommended one to two cups of fruit every day, according to the study. Furthermore, one-third of what counts as fruit came from drinking 100 percent fruit juices.
Drinking juice might not be as unhealthy as drinking soda, but too much juice can cause children to easily gain weight because it’s packed with sugar and calories. Consistently drinking juice can also hinder efforts for many children trying to lose weight. Although many parents are well aware of childhood obesity, more than one-third of children and adolescents continue to be overweight or obese, according to the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
The findings highlight an important challenge for parents. Not only are fruits an important source of nutrients for children that promote health and protect against chronic disease, but they also are associated with a decreased risk of diabetes, stroke, cancers and other deadly conditions, according to the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Researchers discovered that over half – 53 percent – of fruit consumption came in the form of whole fruits, which have the greatest health benefits. Apples, apple juice, citrus juice and bananas were responsible for almost half of total fruit consumption, according to the study.
Apples comprised about 20 percent of fruits consumed while apple juice accounted for 10 percent.
The remaining top choices for fruit included:
- citrus juices
- citrus fruit
- fruit salads
Source: American Academy of Pediatrics
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