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60% of toddlers meet or exceed their recommendation for fruit intake according to the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans. They are mostly eating whole fruits and 100% fruit juice – all of this is good, right?
But I still hear from parents about their concern with the sugar in fruit.
The other good news is fruit is made up of natural sugars – not harmful or bad for your child!
What you want to make sure you are limiting in your toddler’s diet is added sugars! Added sugars can be found in fruit juice, sports drinks, snack foods, and sweets.
Have trouble getting your toddler to eat fruits and veggies? Read this post for some tips & tricks to help!
Luckily, there are nutritious fruits that are low in sugar that you can feed your LO and I’m going to list them all here for you!
Why It’s Important to Eat Fruit?
Fruit is a crucial part of your child’s diet because they are packed with nutrients that help support your child’s growth and development. Benefits of eating fruit include:
- Full of vitamins and minerals
- High in fiber
- Boost immunity
- Provides hydrations – most fruits are up to 90% water!
Pro Tip: DIfferent colored fruits are made up of different nutrients – promote a variety of fruit and a variety of colors in your child’s diet for maximum nutritional benefit.
How Much Fruit Should Your Toddler Eat?
The current recommendation stated in the 2020-2025 Dietary Guidelines for Americans states toddlers (age 1-3 years old) should be eating ½ to 1 ½ cups of fruit daily.
It is totally okay for your child to eat more than this recommended amount. The recommendation is a bare minimum that you should be aiming for.
Serve fruit at breakfast and lunch + snacks throughout the day to ensure they are meeting their daily fruit requirement.
What About Fruit Juice?
Fruit juice also counts towards your toddler’s daily fruit intake. While you can be sure your child is receiving nothing but nutrients and natural sugar from whole fruit, fruit juice can be a bit trickier.
Fruit juice often contains very little actual juice from fruit (unless you’re buying 100% fruit juice) and is loaded with added sugar. This type of fruit juice is bad for your child’s teeth and lacks the same amount of fiber and nutrients as 100% fruit juice or whole fruit.
Some fruit juice tips:
- When buying fruit juice at the store try to stick to buying 100% fruit juice and check to make sure there are no added sugars – stated on the nutrition label.
- Try to serve whole fruits more often than fruit juice
- Dilute your child’s fruit juice with water – 50/50
9 Low Sugar Fruits to Feed Your Toddler
Here are 9 low-sugar fruits that you can feed your toddler if you want to watch their sugar intake – I usually offer these fruits for dinner or if they want a snack before bed!
But remember – you want to serve your child a variety of fruits and veggies, so don’t eliminate fruit that didn’t make this list!
- Avocado – Yes, avo is a fruit! It is also high in fiber and healthy fat.
- Watermelon – Super hydrating. The perfect summer snack!
- Strawberries – Excellent source of vitamin C – beat the daycare/preschool sickies!
- Asian Pears
What Fruit is High in Sugar?
If you are concerned about the amount of sugar your child is eating or drinking daily it is also important to be aware of which fruits are high in sugar.
Again…don’t exclude these fruits from your child’s diet. Maybe just chose to offer these fruits less often than the 9 low-sugar fruits I have listed above.
Let’s Wrap it Up
If you are concerned about your child’s sugar intake, fruit is not the source of sugar you want to cut from their diet.
Look at cutting back on drinks with added sugar, sugary snack foods, sweets, and treats.
Serve fruits with low-sugar – like avocado, watermelon, strawberries, cantaloupe, kiwis, tangerines, etc. – more often than fruit high in sugar – like pomegranate, mango, cherries, bananas, and oranges.
Want more helpful tips for feeding your toddler? Follow Raising Tiny Foodies on Instagram!