Fruit is healthy so it’s hard to believe that if your children are tucking into fruit whenever they are hungry then it could be the same as not eating enough. I don’t want to discourage you from teaching your kids to enjoy their fruit because I know it can be a tricky issue but as parents, it’s important to be aware of this.
You definitely won’t become obese from eating too much fruit – not straight away anyway, and it’s definitely a better option than sweet lollies or cakes but we have to remember it all has to be part of a balanced diet.
Fruit is high in natural sugars, so there should be mindful caution with the amount on any given day. It’s becoming a problem when the third banana for the day is being eaten because it may be taking the place of a high protein/carbohydrate snack such as a cheese on crackers which is low in sugar.
Dental decay, Osteoporosis, Chronic Fatigue Syndrome, skin and behavioural problems, sore tummies as well as a lack of overall variety of nutrients in the diet can all stem from too much fruit intake.
So, how much fruit should our children be eating?
In a nutshell, it is best to aim for two serves daily (this is relevant to adults as well). This, of course, varies in the portion as your child gets older and requires more energy.
Here is a basic rundown: 2-3-year-olds – 1 cup, 4-8-year-olds – 1 1/2 cups
Examples of portion sizes for children are:
Table and stats obtained from the National Health and Medical Research Council.
So, hats off to you if your child does enjoy their fruit. It means you must be doing something right, but if it comes to the point that two serves have already been eaten that day, try offering some vegetables to complete the rainbow or other healthy snacks.
For the rest of us, what are your tips to get kids enjoying their fruit?
This post first appeared on Kidspot Village Voices where you will be sure to get lost for a few hours with some great reads and tips on parenting.