Why Kids Should Eat More Fruit

Childhood Nutrition Basics

Mother and daughter eating watermelon
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Getting kids to eat more fruit and vegetables is a big goal for many parents.

Not surprisingly, it is usually easier to get them to eat more fruits than vegetables.

Why Kids Should Eat More Fruit

Fruits are important too though, as they are:

How Much Fruit Should Kids Eat?

So much fruit do your kids need to eat each day?

Following the Choose MyPlate dietary advice, it is recommended that:

  • 2-3 year old children eat 1 cup of fruits each day
  • 4-8 year old children eat 1 to 1 1/2 cups of fruits each day
  • 9-13 year old girls eat 1 1/2 cups of fruits each day
  • 14-18 year old girls eat 1 1/2 cups of fruits each day
  • 9-13 year old boys eat 1 1/2 cups of fruits each day
  • 14-18 year old boys eat 2 cups of fruits each day

When thinking of serving sizes and daily recommendations for fruits, keep in mind that 1 cup of fruit is usually equal to a cup of sliced or chopped fruit or:

  • a small apple or half of a large apple
  • a cup of applesauce
  • a large banana
  • about 32 seedless grapes
  • a medium grapefruit
  • a large orange
  • a large peach
  • a medium pear
  • 3 medium plus
  • about 8 large strawberries
  • a 1" thick wedge of watermelon
  • 1/2 cup of raisins

Although a cup of 100% fruit juice, including apple juice and orange juice, can count as a cup of fruit, it is much better to eat whole fruits, which have more fiber, instead of juice.

Eating More Fruits

Getting kids to eat fruit isn't usually as hard as it is to get them to eat vegetables. Most fruits have a nice sweet taste and are already generally viewed as a fun snack.

Still, if your child doesn't eat a lot of fruit, some easy tips to encourage him to eat more fruit includes that you:

  • simply make fruits more available in your home, including having whole fruit and cut up fruit around for a quick snack
  • offer a variety of choices, including fresh fruits that are in season, and let your child help pick them out at the grocery store or during a trip to a farmer's market
  • add fruit, such as bananas or berries, as a topping to your child's breakfast cereal, yogurt, etc.
  • allow your child to dip fruit slices in a low fat dressing
  • make a fruit smoothie

And set a good example by eating a variety of fruit every day.

Is your child a picky eater? Until he starts eating more fruits, you might ask your pediatrician if he needs a vitamin.




USDA. Tips to help you eat fruits. Accessed June 2016.

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