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Study: Kids eat more fruit when sliced

Red apples on a wooden table. Delicious and

Red apples on a wooden table. Delicious and healthy fruit. Credit: iStock

It's the size of a snack that prompts kids to eat it, not necessarily because it's in fancy packaging, according to a new study.

Researchers from the Cornell University's Food and Brand Lab found kids eat more fruit, such as apples, when it's sliced or cut into bite-sized pieces.

While most parents know kids love to eat fruit that's easy to eat, in most school cafeterias, fruit is served whole, which could explain why some kids aren't eating fruit during the day. Researchers found children dislike eating large pieces of fruit for two main reasons: "For younger students, who have smaller mouths and might have braces or missing teeth, whole fruit is too difficult to eat," according to the study which was published in the "American Journal of Preventive Medicine." For older girls, "eating potentially messy whole fruits in front of others is an unattractive, and potentially embarrassing situation."

The study also found fruit sales increased about 61 percent when the fruit was sliced. Researchers also found the number of students who ate more than half of their apple increased by 73 percent when it was pre-sliced.

If you're packing pre-sliced apples (or other fruit) in your kids lunchboxes, spritz them with a little lime or lemon juice to help keep them from browning.

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