What would you like to know?
Share this Story

What is the daily recommended serving of fruit for a child?

Laura Williams, M.S.Ed. is a personal trainer, freelance writer and entrepreneur who works with a wide variety of fitness clients. She's the founder of the popular website, - Girls Gone Sporty, and she's the host of the High Impact Blogg...

Kid-friendly fruit ideas

From SheKnows Canada
To help your child grow up active, healthy and strong, you need to make sure he's eating the daily recommended servings of fruit. It's not always easy to understand or follow national guidelines, so use these tips to ensure that you're fueling your kids right.

kids-eating-fruit-salad
Recommended fruit Servings for kids

Your child's growing body requires the vitamins, minerals and nutrients provided from a well rounded diet full of colorful fruits. As your child grows, the number of calories and nutrients she needs to maintain her health will gradually increase, along with the number of recommended daily fruit servings. Consider the following guidelines from Health Canada:

  • Girls and boys 2 to 3 years old should eat four total servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
  • Girls and boys 4 to 8 years old should eat five total servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
  • Girls and boys between 9 and 13 years should eat six total servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
  • Girls between 14 and 18 should eat seven total servings of fruits and vegetables daily.
  • Boys between 14 and 18 should eat eight total servings of fruits and vegetables daily.

While Health Canada doesn't differentiate between fruit and vegetable servings, you can look to other countries for more specific fruit guidelines. In fact, the American Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a calculator that lets you plug in information regarding your child's age, sex and activity level to get a more tailored daily fruit recommendation. Generally speaking, the recommendation will fall between 1 and 2.5 cups of fruit each day.

Differences Between Sexes

Until age 14, boys and girls follow the same general fruit consumption guidelines, but after puberty, boys' recommendations increase. That's because, until puberty, boys and girls are similar in height, weight and muscle mass. After puberty, however, boys grow taller, gain more muscle mass and must consume more daily calories than girls to remain healthy. At this point, the calories consumed from fruit must increase to remain in proportion with the total daily calorie intake.

Serving Sizes

To ensure that your child consumes the right number of fruit servings each day, you need to know what a serving of fruit looks like. Any half-cup equivalent of fruit, berries or 100-percent fruit juice is considered a single serving. If you don't have a measuring cup handy, eyeball the fruit in question. If it's the size of a tennis or billiards ball, then it's approximately a single serving. If you're serving dried fruit, aim for about a quarter cup's worth -- or the amount equivalent in size to an egg.

more about fruit & kids

Fun ways to make fruit kid friendly
Fresh, fruity ideas
Kids a cookin' -- Fruit Pizza

Recommended for You
Comments
Hot
New in Health & Wellness
Close

And you'll see personalized content just for you whenever you click the My Feed .

SheKnows is making some changes!