Just one piece of fruit and vegetables a day

Written by: Emma Lee Potter | Published:

One in five children from low-income households eat just one piece of fruit or vegetables a day at most, a new study has revealed.

Advice from the World Health Organisation recommends that everyone should eat 400g of fruit and vegetables a day – the equivalent of five portions – to lower the risk of health problems.

But a study commissioned by the Mayor’s Fund for London, a social mobility charity, has found that children from poorer households eat less fruit and vegetables than their peers, get fewer meals and skip breakfast more often.

The report highlighted the fact that 18 per cent of youngsters from households with an income of £10,000 or less have a maximum of one portion of fruit and vegetables per day. A quarter of their parents said that the five-a-day campaign was “unrealistic”.
Children in households with an income of £40,000 or less eat three portions of fruit or vegetables a day while those in wealthier households eat four portions a day.

The Mayor’s Fund for London, which polled 2,000 parents with children aged between four and 16, is now launching a campaign to tackle the problem.

The Kitchen Social campaign aims to raise £1 million to help provide nutritious meals and activity clubs for 50,000 children and young people in London during the school holidays.

“All parents want the best for their children but it seems that there are many struggling to give their children the diet they need,” said Matthew Patten, chief executive of the Mayor’s Fund for London.

“There are 220,000 London children entitled to free school meals during term time, but there is nothing to help ensure they receive nutritious meals during the 170 days that they are not at school. We want to ensure all children have access to healthy food, regardless of their background.”


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