Five Reasons Why Kids Have to Eat Fruit
Fruit is one of the most important parts of your child's diet. It's low in fat and calories and supplies key nutrients that your child needs to grow. Fruit helps protect your child from certain illnesses and diseases as well. Elementary-age children need between 1 and 1 1/2 cups of fruit each day and teens should get between 1 1/2 and 2 cups.
Low in Fat and Calories
One out of three children is overweight or obese, largely due to unhealthy diets high in fat and calories and low in nutrients. Eating plenty of fruit is one way to lower your child's caloric intake, which can help prevent unhealthy weight gain or shed excess pounds. Replacing high-calorie and high-fat snacks with fresh fruit can significantly cut the number of calories in your child's diet. Fresh fruit also contains nutrients that give your child energy so he can be active, which is another way to help him manage his weight.
Fresh fruit is a nutritious source of fiber, which many children don't get enough of in their daily diets. Fiber helps keep your child's digestive system working normally, which reduces his risk of constipation. When your child gets plenty of fiber in his diet, he's also at a decreased risk of heart disease, Type 2 diabetes and obesity.
Vitamins and Minerals
Fruit contains a wealth of key vitamins and minerals that support your child's development and help keep him healthy. Plenty of fruit helps your child get adequate amounts of potassium, which helps keep his blood pressure normal. Fruit supplies vitamin C, a nutrient that boosts your child's immune system and helps prevent infection. It also provides vitamin A for healthy eyes and folate for normal DNA production.
The vitamins and minerals in fruit keep your child's kidneys working normally, which decreases his risk of kidney stones, and helps your child build bone mass, according to the website. A diet rich in fruit can reduce your child's lifetime risk of certain types of cancer such as throat, esophageal and stomach. Fruit might also reduce the risk of lung cancer, according to the Harvard School of Public Health.
Improves Academic Performance
A healthy and well-balanced diet supports brain development, and eating plenty of fresh fruit might boost your child's performance in school. A 2008 study published in the "Journal of School Health" notes that a diet rich in fruits and vegetables results in higher test scores. A healthy diet that includes fruit can also increase your child's focus in the classroom so he is able to learn new information, as well as retain what he's learned.
Original article can be found here: https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-children-eating-snacks-during-school-4999.html