A new study has found that most kids prefer apples to other fruits.
Today is officially the start of fall, which means it's finally appropriate to flip over my wardrobe (I've been dreaming of sweaters and scarves!) and plan how I'm going to spend these crisp autumn weekends. The first thing on my list? Apple picking! As a kid, I was always excited to see the rows of apples emerge in the grocery store around this time of year. But now as a recent East Coast transplant, I love that I can go out and gather my own apples. Nothing beats picking fresh apples—or the cider and doughnuts you can get after you're done! All in all, indulging in apples is one of my favorite ways to welcome fall.
Surprisingly, kids agree! A new study in the October issue of Pediatrics found that kids name the apple as their favorite fruit. Plus, apples made up 18.9 percent of fruit intake among the surveyed children. To reach this conclusion, researchers looked at data from more than 3,000 children ages 2 through 19 from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey taken between 2011 and 2012.
Most kids (53 percent) preferred the whole form—which is the healthiest way to consume fruit—though 34 percent did prefer 100-percent juice drinks. However, the study does note that liquid forms of calories (like fruit juice) can contribute to excess caloric intake, so parents should be wary of too much juice in their child's diet (apple or otherwise).
Apples, apple juice, citrus juice, and bananas made up almost half of the total fruit consumption for kids. Other favorites included melons, berries, citrus fruit, fruit salads, grapes, peaches, and nectarines. The study notes that top choices varied by age and race, but not by gender.
The study also notes that kids in the U.S. consume 1.25 cups of fruit every day on average, which is within the range recommended by the 2010 dietary guidelines.
Riyana Straetker is an editorial assistant at Parents. Follow her on Twitter: @riyanastraetker.