A new study for the American Academy of Pediatrics says that apples are the number one fruit children like to eat.
The study, “Fruit Consumption by Youth in the United State,” found that “by far the favorite fruit for kids is the apple which accounted for about 20 percent of fruits consumed and apple juice which accounted for approximately 10 percent.”
Researchers surveyed children ages two through 19 and found some variation by age and race, but not by gender.
Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, the study also found that only about 40 percent of children ages one through 18 met recommendations for one to two cups of fruit per day.
Other favorites – in order of popularity – are citrus juices, bananas, melons, berries, citrus fruit, fruit salads, grapes, peaches and nectarines.
If you are reading this, you probably already know that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables has been linked to significantly decreased risk of diabetes, stroke, cancers and other deadly and chronic diseases and that it’s important to start your children on a healthy diet as soon as they begin to eat their first foods.
Apples have been called many things including a “miracle food,” one of “the world’s healthiest foods,” and more. That’s because one medium apple can provide up to ten percent of the daily recommended consumption of Vitamin C, although apples also provide other important vitamins and minerals.
Here are some tips from the experts:
- For infants who are not yet on solid foods, apples can be added to cereals and purees of all kinds. They can be added to teething biscuit recipes, healthy cake recipes, yogurt and with other fruit.
- Apples should be peeled for babies under eight months to ensure there are no tummy upsets.
- Apples are great when frozen and can provide effective teething relief.
- Apple sauce can be substituted for oil in many baked goods.
- Be sure to wash apples before using.
- Apples are most flavorful when baked, but steaming and boiling – in a scant amount of water – allow apples to retain most of their nutrients.
- Apple sauce from the grocer can be substituted for the homemade variety provided it’s natural. Be sure to read the labels if you have doubts. The addition of water and vitamin C or citric acid is fine.
If you want more information, there are dozens of sites on the web that can provide it, here are a few we like that can get you started:
American Academy of Pediatrics – https://www.aap.org
United States Department of Agriculture – Links to other apple related sites – https://fnic.nal.usda.gov/food-composition/food-fyi/apples
Wholesome Baby Food – Healthy Recipes and General Information – http://wholesomebabyfood.momtastic.com/applebabyfoodrecipes.htm
The World’s Healthiest Foods – a Melon Foundation website – http://www.whfoods.com