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Wednesday 26th April 2017

Parents' five-a-day ignorance

23rd June 2008

A survey has revealed that "one in three parents" reported their children knew "more about healthy eating campaigns than they do".


The Department of Health polled 1,000 parents in England and found that 75% did not know that frozen or canned foods contributed to the daily recommended amount.

The UK recommendation is that people should eat five portions of fruit and vegetables per day. However, studies have shown that "just over" 50% of people eat the required amounts.

The message is well promoted in schools, meaning that children know what they should and should not eat.

However, 50% of the children polled said they had fooled their parents by eating a small amount of a food they disliked and saying they had eaten a "full portion".

Azmina Govindji, from the British Dietetic Association, said: "If healthy eating messages can get through to children, then they have a lot of power in the home, and can ask their parents for the kind of food they need to be eating."

50% of parents were not aware that vegetables in cooked sauces could also contribute towards the daily amount.

Some parents believed that potatoes counted as one of the five-a-day, or did not count dried fruit when calculating their amount.

Health minister Dawn Primarolo said: "We welcome the fact that children are absorbing our five-a-day messages and can teach their parents - and peers - to eat more healthily too."

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