The Government decided against extending the fruit in schools programme earlier this year due to the cost, official papers show.
The papers, released to the Green Party, contain Ministry of Health advice to minister Tony Ryall.
They state that the minister approved extending the scheme from decile 1 and 2 schools to include decile 3 schools at a cost of an extra $2.6 million.
However, Mr Ryall decided that the proposal would not go ahead in this year's Budget due to financial constraints.
The Green Party's education spokesperson, Catherine Delahunty, says extending fruit in schools to decile 3 schools would have benefitted an extra 36,000 children.