One in four parents struggle to get kids to eat five-a-day of fruit and veg

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One in four parents struggle to get kids to eat five-a-day of fruit and veg
One in four parents struggle to get kids to eat five-a-day of fruit and veg

A quarter of parents admit they struggle – when it comes to getting their little ones to eat their five portions of fruit and veg each day, a study has found.

Some of the top difficulties when it comes to youngsters getting their five-a-day include “they are fussy” (53%), and “they don't like it” (43%) – while 35% of mums and dads say their children “don't like the textures”. And the poll of 2,000 parents, of kids aged up to five years old, found that the average child eats just three portions of fruit and veg each day.

As a result, nine in ten of those polled agree there is room for improvement when it comes to their child's eating habits. However, half of those polled claim they “go the extra mile” to educate their offspring about the benefits of fruit and veg – with 29% teaching them about the vitamins found in this food group.

It comes as the research, commissioned by innocent Drinks, found almost half of kids under five (45%) are clueless about how the produce gets from the farm to their plates. To help mums and dads educate their little ones, innocent Drinks held a fruit festival in partnership with Crockford Bridge Fruit Farm in Surrey.

One in four parents struggle to get kids to eat five-a-day of fruit and veg eideziqkeiqhhinvNearly half of kids are clueless about how fruit and veg gets from the farm to their plates (PinPep)

Katie Peacock, spokeswoman for the drinks brand, which has created a range of family-friendly fruit and nature-related activities, said: “We’re on a mission to get more fruit and veg into people’s diets, and we know this can be particularly tricky for parents. By hosting the innocent Fruit Festival this year, we aim to educate and engage families about the power and deliciousness of fruit, to hopefully make it that little bit easier for parents to get more portions of fruit and veg into their children’s diets.”

Mum's touching gesture to young son who died leaves Morrisons shopper in tearsMum's touching gesture to young son who died leaves Morrisons shopper in tears

The study found over three-quarters (77%) of mums and dads revealed they give their children fruit and veg they know and like – to ensure they get the goodness they need. It also emerged four in ten of those polled, via OnePoll, feel a mixture of excitement and dread when encouraging their kids to try new fruit and veg.

Perhaps as a result, 61% have admitted sneaking fruit and veg into their little one’s diet by blending and hiding it in their meals. Surrey mum, Sophie Jenkins, who attended the innocent Fruit Festival, said: “The kids had so much fun, and it was a lovely way to spend the day. The fruit art station was a real hit – it was great seeing my little one playing and trying fruits he doesn't usually eat.”

TOP TIPS ON HOW KIDS CAN GET THEIR FULL FIVE-A-DAY – ACCORDING TO INNOCENT’S “FRUIT EXPERT”, LOUISA HANDLEY:

  • Include fruit and veg into your children's diets that are a range of colours, just like the rainbow, to get them excited about eating them.
  • Adding fruit to each meal will help increase your five-a-day. Meals such as breakfasts, salads, and desserts are easy dishes to add fruit and veg to.
  • Make fruit as fun as possible for the family, and to get kids to understand more about the textures and flavours of fruit. Have a go at mashing up berries and using them for fruit art, where you can draw your favourite fruit.

Martin Winter

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