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Ask the Expert Archive

Hi. I teach 1st grade and I am interested in starting a Fruit Friday in my classroom to introduce the kids to new fruits and to teach them about healthy eating. Since Friday is our test day, I am curious if there are any studies on the benefits of eating fresh fruit and better test taking. Thank you!

Recently, the Journal of Epidemiology and Community Health examined the dietary patterns of 3,966 children ages 3, 4, 7 and 8 ½. This study found that children who consumed mainly processed foods high in sugar and fat at 3 years of age had a negative correlation with IQ assessment at 8 ½ years old. Those 3-year-olds who ate a “health-conscious diet” of salad, rice, pasta, fish and fruit most often had a positive correlation with IQ assessment at 8 ½ years old. While there was a difference in IQ levels, the difference was very minimal.

This is just one study that correlates eating a healthy diet with higher test scores. Our weekly About the Buzz section provides trustworthy consumer information about the benefits of fruits and vegetables, with a special section dedicated to research including kids. For your Fruit Friday, you can also emphasize how eating a balanced breakfast including fruits, vegetables, whole grains, and protein has been shown to lead to better concentration during taking tests which can in turn lead to better test scores! Try one of our kid-friendly recipes or our Top 10 Fruit Snack for Kids with your first graders to get them excited about eating their fruits and veggies too!

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The Expert: Wendy Reinhardt Kapsak, MS, RDN, is the President and CEO of the Produce for Better Health (PBH) Foundation. At PBH, she guides the Foundation’s efforts to advance the overall effort of increasing fruit and vegetable consumption.
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