Why do children need to eat more fruits?
- Fruits are nutritious, flavorful, and appealing to children. Fruits are naturally low in fat, sodium, and calories – none have cholesterol. Fruits are important sources of many nutrients, including dietary fiber, vitamin C, potassium, folate, and phytochemicals.
- Eating fruits that are low in calories per cup instead of some other higher-calorie food may be useful in helping to lower calorie intake.
- Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables as part of a healthy diet may reduce risk for chronic diseases such as stroke, coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancers.
Things to consider:
- Buy fresh fruits in season when they are at their peak flavor.
- Keep a supply of dried, frozen, and canned fruits on hand and readily available
- Serve whole or cut-up fruit rather than juice for more dietary fiber
- Select fruit canned in 100% fruit juice or water rather than syrup.
- Vary fruit choices. Fruits differ in nutrient content
- Increase the amounts and variety of fruits offered because fruits offer an abundance of important nutrients such as fiber, vitamins, and minerals.
- Fruits are low in calories, fats, and sodium. Children who eat generous amounts of fruits as part of a healthy diet are likely to have reduced risk of chronic diseases, including stroke, coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and certain types of cancer.
- Frequently offer fresh fruits using a variety of presentations, such as apple wedges, fresh fruit cups, and banana halves.
- Plan a vitamin C rich fruit or vegetable daily.
- Offer fruit with more potassium often, such as bananas, honeydew melon, oranges, and orange juice.
National Food Service Management Institute
The University of Mississippi