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Fruit and Vegetable Servings for Children

Image for produce in schools articleAppropriate fruit and vegetable consumption is important for nutritional health and weight maintenance. Given the number of Americans who are either overweight or obese, it is all the more important to encourage children and adults to consume the recommended daily amounts of fruits and vegetables.

Fruits and vegetables are a great low-calorie, low-fat source of vitamins, minerals, fiber, water, and other beneficial nutrients. The table below highlights the recommendations for fruit and vegetable consumption for children who get less than 30 minutes of moderate physical activity. If a child gets more activity than this, they may need more of the types of foods.

Fruits

GenderAgeDaily Recommendation
Boys and girls2-3 years old1 cup (about 229 grams)
Boys and girls4-8 years old1 to 1-½ cups (about 229-345 grams)
Boys and girls9-13 years old1-½ cups (about 345 grams)
Girls14-18 years old1-½ cups (about 345 grams)
Boys14-18 years old2 cups (about 459 grams)

Vegetables

GenderAgeDaily Recommendation
Boys and girls2-3 years old1 cup (about 229 grams)
Boys and girls4-8 years old1-½ cup (about 345 grams)
Girls9-13 years old2 cups (about 459 grams)
Boys9-13 years old2-½ cups (about 575 grams)
Girls14-18 years old2-½ cups (about 575 grams)
Boys14-18 years old3 cups (about 690 grams)

Examples of One Cup of Fruits and Vegetables

Here are examples of what is equal to one cup of fruits and vegetable, according to the USDA's Choose My Plate website:

Getting Kids to Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

The best way to get your kids to eat more fruits and vegetables is to set a good example. Here are a few more tips:

RESOURCES:

Family Doctor—American Academy of Family Physicians
http://familydoctor.org

US Department of Agriculture Choose My Plate
http://www.choosemyplate.gov

CANADIAN RESOURCES:

Dietitians of Canada
http://www.dietitians.ca

Health Canada
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

REFERENCES:

Nutrition (pediatric preventive care). EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:https://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T115435/Nutrition-pediatric-preventive-care. Updated December 26, 2016. Accessed February 2, 2017.

All about the vegetable group. Choose My Plate—US Department of Agriculture website. Available at: https://www.choosemyplate.gov/vegetables. Updated July 26, 2016. Accessed February 2, 2017.

All about the fruit group. Choose My Plate—US Department of Agriculture website. Available at: https://www.choosemyplate.gov/fruit. Updated July 26, 2016. Accessed February 2, 2017.

Last reviewed February 2017 by Michael Woods, MD, FAAP  Last Updated: 2/17/2015