The good news is that, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, more and more kids are eating their fruits and vegetables these days. In fact, between 2009 and 2010, three-quarters of kids ages 2 to 19 ate fruit on a daily basis, and an overwhelming 90 percent ate vegetables on a daily basis (in this instance, French fries count as a vegetable since they are potato-based).
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But kids still don’t like their spinach, no matter what Popeye says. Around 75 percent of kids ate red or orange vegetables like carrots and red bell peppers every day, while 53 percent ate starchy vegetables like potatoes or yams, and 60 percent ate others like cauliflower or celery. Unsurprisingly, only 12 percent ate dark green vegetables like spinach and broccoli, even though dark and leafy greens are considered “powerhouse nutrient foods” according to the CDC.
"If the dietary guidelines are encouraging Americans, and encouraging youth, to increase the consumption of fruits and vegetables, then it's helpful to know who's consuming what," study researcher Samara Joy Nielsen said.
Older kids are less likely to eat healthy fruits and vegetables, with 90 percent of toddlers eating fruit every day, and only 66 percent of teenagers doing so. But all of these numbers, said Nielsen, have nothing to do with the amount of vegetables eaten per day, and more research is needed.
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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter@JoannaFantozzi