Great news on the first day of fall: Compared to other fruit, kids are really, really into apples.
A new study published in the journal Pediatrics surveyed over 3,000 kids, determining that apples account for 19 percent of the total fruit they’re consuming. And this love of apples seems to get stronger with age; children between the ages of 6 and 11 are eating 8 percent more than kids 2 to 5 years old.
The question, though, is whether or not kids are getting fruit in its best form. Whole fruits are the most nutritious, providing necessary fiber and avoiding the extra sugar found in fruit juices. But the study shows about a third of apple intake is the form of apple juice.
When it comes to babies under six months old, you’ll want to avoid juice altogether. It can interfere with baby’s consumption of breast milk or formula. Plus, the American Academy of Pediatrics explains that fruit juice has too much sugar and too many carbs for an infant’s system, contributing not only to early tooth problems, but diarrhea. The official recommendation: “It is prudent to give juice only to infants who can drink from a cup (approximately 6 months or older).”
When can you introduce actual apples? Baby will be ready for solid foods around six months. Look for signs like sitting up and the ability to open and close the mouth over a spoon.