Can Kids Eat Too Much Fruit?

YC 2017June FruitBlogHeaderYou’ve done your job as a parent and taught your child to eschew candy, chips and other junk food snacks for natural alternatives such as fruit. But can kids eat too much fruit?

The short answer is yes.

Fruit is always a better snack or part of a meal than processed junk foods, but children should balance fruit intake with vegetable intake, too. Children should eat two servings of fruit and another two to three of vegetables daily. To keep things simple, think of a medium-sized fruit, such as an apple or banana as serving, or two to three smallish items, such as kiwi or strawberries. If your child is eating more than two servings, they may face complications, including:

  • Bloating or Other Intestinal Distress: Fruits are high in the natural sugar fructose, which many people find hard to digest. In many, this sugar isn’t fully digested when it reaches the small intestine, where it’s seized by bacteria. This can cause gas or bloating.
  • Sugar Cravings: It’s counterintuitive, but eating fruit may cause your child to crave sugar. Fructose spikes blood sugar levels, but they return to normal quickly, leaving kids craving another quick boost of energy.
  • Too Much Fiber: Fruits are a great source of fiber, which is an important part of kids’ diets – in reasonable amounts. Fiber can interfere with absorption of vitamins and minerals.

For parents struggling to instill smart eating habits, this shouldn’t be cause to panic. Children who eat lots of fruit are already avoiding added sugar (the worst kind of sugar) as well as the fats that make processed foods so unhealthy. Instead of fruit, consider other snacks, such as nuts, low-fat crackers or vegetables. Pretty much everyone could use a few more vegetables in their diet