When it comes to fiber, fruit is your friend. Fruit generally has 3 or more grams of fiber per serving – not to mention it comes bundled with a bevy of other important nutrients.
But are we under sampling seasonal offerings of fruits? According to a study recently published in Pediatrics, American kids are agog for apples…and that’s about it.
Apples account for 20% of all fruit consumed by US kids and young people. If you pair that with apple juice, the number rises to 30%.
Not that anything is wrong with apples – but only 40% of US kids meet the USDA recommendations for 1-2 cups of fruit per day.
Could it be that a lack of variety is lessening our ability to meet fruit intake recommendations? If so, here are a few tips for firming up your fruit findings:
- Check out seasonal availability of produce calendars like this one from CUESA.org
- Explore what constitutes a serving of fruit at ChooseMyPlate.gov and add 1-2 new options per week to your routine
- Eat the rainbow: make a concerted effort to add more colorful fruits (and vegetables) to grace your plate
- If you have kids or feed kids, set a snacking example by making fruit your go-to snack, aiming for 2-3 serving of fresh fruit between meals if you’re not getting that at meal time
- Eat your fruit, don’t drink it: whole, intact fruit is your best bet for fiber and calorie control; watch out for dried fruits that can have added sugar and high calorie juices without the fiber benefits.
To find out how many servings of fruit per day you should be consuming based on your age and gender, check out ChooseMyPlate.gov’s “Daily Fruit Chart” in the All About the Fruit Group page.
And if you’re fearful of fruit…forget that! Americans are often misguided about fruit – although fruit does have sugar (naturally occurring fruit sugar called fructose), it’s a great, low calorie source of other vitamins, minerals and fibers – making fruit definitely worth your while.