WE’VE all heard the saying that an apple a day keeps the doctor away.
What we might not realise is that eating fruit also helps to satisfy our appetite and reduce the likelihood that we will become overweight or obese.
Data indicates that only 6% of children have one serve, or just one piece of fruit, each day.
If we include fruit juice, that figure rises to 19%.
However, that still means four out of five children do not consume any fruit each day.
With obesity and overweight levels at their highest ever on the Sunshine Coast, the need to encourage children and adults to eat at least one piece of fruit a day is paramount.
Parents of schoolchildren should pack a piece of fruit in their kids’ lunch boxes each day and actively encourage them to eat it.
Fruit is also a great snack for children when they arrive home from school.
Many canteens and tuckshops at schools either do not provide fruit or provide fruit that is unattractive.
For example, over-ripe bananas that look ready to be made into banana bread are not enticing to eat.
We are lucky in Queensland and particularly on the Coast to have fresh produce including fruits available daily.
Most shops stock a great variety of fruits, including apples, bananas and pears.
So instead of reaching for a sweet confectionary snack, reach for a piece of fruit as part of your morning and afternoon routines.
Professor John B Lowe is the Head of the School of Health and Sport Sciences at the University of the Sunshine Coast.
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