Industry body, Ausveg, is urging Australian parents and carers to play a bigger role in encouraging their children to eat more vegetables, after figures from the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) showed that only five per cent of children eat the recommended daily intake of fruit and vegetables.
The results from the 2014-15 National Health Survey, which is conducted by the ABS and designed to collect a wide range of information about the health of Australians, revealed that only 5.4 per cent of children aged 2-18 years met the guidelines for the recommended daily serves of vegetables.
The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend that children eat five serves of vegetables a day to ensure they receive the necessary nutrients to grow and develop into healthy adults.
“The latest figures from the ABS are alarming, as they highlight that the majority of Australian children are failing to eat enough vegetables at this essential stage of their development process,” said Dimi Kyriakou, spokesperson, Ausveg.
“The statistics are particularly concerning, given that one in four children are considered overweight or obese.”
“This is a great opportunity for parents to encourage their kids to get involved in the preparation and cooking of healthy dinners, as cementing these healthy eating habits from a young age will ensure that they continue throughout their child’s lifetime.”
“Vegetables can be a star addition to any breakfast, lunch and dinner, and it is important for children to think of vegetables as an essential part of their daily diet.”
The Guidelines indicate that one serving of vegetables is equivalent to half a cup of cooked vegetables, half a medium potato, or one cup of salad vegetables.
“Australians are fortunate to have access to a wide range of clean, green and safe veggies that can turn any meal into a delicious and healthy option for the whole family,” said Kyriakou.
“By choosing Australian veggies, you will immediately feel healthy and happier thanks to the wide-ranging benefits that come with eating vegetables. These benefits have been widely documented and reinforce the important role that vegetables play in maintaining a healthy diet.”
“While previous industry consumer research has shown that many Australians are increasingly choosing naturally healthy options like fresh vegetables, the latest figures from the ABS prove that there is still more work to be done, particularly in regards to the healthy eating habits of younger Australians.”
“The vegetable industry constantly surveys consumers to find out how growers and retailers can tailor their products to meet their needs and ultimately increase vegetable consumption, with many successful results.”
“Ausveg is urging all Australians and their children to eat more veggies and take advantage of the many inherent health benefits that come with them.”