Progress on Children Eating More Fruit
The amount of whole fruit* children, 2-18 years old, ate increased by 67% from 2003 to 2010 and replaced fruit juice as the main contributor of fruit to children's diets. Experts recommend that most fruit come from whole fruit, rather than juice. The amount of vegetables children ate did not change from 2003 to 2010. Moreover, in 2007- 2010, children did not meet recommendations for the amount of fruit and vegetables they should eat.
About 60 million US children are enrolled in child care** or school, where their experiences with food can affect their health and lifelong food choices. Since 2010, new national efforts like Let's Move! and new school nutrition standards support healthy eating.
Child care, schools, and school districts can support these efforts by:
- Meeting or exceeding current federal nutrition standards for meals and snacks.
- Serving fruit and vegetables whenever food is offered.
- Training staff to make fruit and vegetables more appealing and accessible.
- Offering nutrition education and hands-on learning opportunities, such as growing, tasting, and preparing fruit and vegetables.
*Includes all forms of fruit (fresh, frozen, canned, and dried) except juice.
**Includes child care centers, day care homes, Head Start programs, preschool, and pre-kindergarten
Children are eating more fruit but not enough.
- 6 in 10 children didn't eat enough fruit in 2007-2010.
- As children get older, they eat less fruit.
Most children need to eat more vegetables.
- 9 in 10 children didn't eat enough vegetables in 2007-2010.
- Children should eat a variety of colorful vegetables prepared in healthy ways.
- About 1/3 of vegetables children ate in 2009-2010 were white potatoes, most (63%) of which were eaten as fried potatoes, such as French fries, or as chips.
For more information, visit the CDC website.