apple eatResearchers examined the results of 2011-2012 statistics on the food habits of more than 3,100 children and young people aged 2 to 19 years from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey. The investigators found that whole fruits made up 53 percent of fruit consumption overall and 100-percent fruit juices made up 34 percent. The rest consisted of mixed-fruit products and beverages that aren’t 100-percent fruit.

Children most likely prefer apples over other fruits making it up 19 percent of fruit intake, followed by citrus juice (14 percent), apple juice (10 percent) and other fruit juices (9 percent). Next in popularity were bananas and melons, the survey found. Avocados, which are actually berries, weren’t included because a database considered them to be vegetables, study author Kirsten Herrick, a senior service fellow with the U.S. National Center for Health Statistics.

“An apple a day keeps the doctor away” is an old Welsh proverb that most of us are familiar with, but what makes this fruit so special? What health benefits are associated with eating apples?

A group of researchers at The Florida State University stated that apples really are a “miracle fruit”. They found that older women who ate apples everyday had 23% less bad cholesterol (LDL) and 4% more good cholesterol (HDL) after just six months

Apple is high in fiber and thus very good for digestive system. They are often known as “nutritional power houses” because they incorporate important nutrients such as-Vitamin C, B-complex vitamins, Minerals and many others.

Herrick continues that “Only about 40 percent of U.S. youth meet the target for consumption on any given day.” The study shows that more than half of total fruit consumption, though, does come from eating whole fruits, which is a very good sign.

And keeping those numbers in significance parents should start to offer fruits to kids from an early age,” Dr. Deena Blanchard of NYU Langone Medical Center told CBS News. “The other thing is that we know kids are more likely to try new foods if they try it with something they like.”

As mom Danielle Kilarjian says apples are a favorite snack for her kids.

“It’s really healthy it’s a great snack option for them instead of all the processed stuff, ” she told CBS News. “My daughter, Charlie, will get peanut butter on her apple, so it’s added protein which is great.”

The American Academy of Pediatrics says that offering fruit often, as a snack or part of meals, can make a big difference in encouraging kids’ healthy diets. They advise adding fruit to cereal or a child’s lunch box, or including vitamin C-rich fruits in meal preparation.

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