Almost half of British children REFUSE to eat vegetables, according to a new study of parents. Researchers surveyed UK parents about the eating habits of their children – and revealed a staggering 75% have worries or concerns about their fussy eating. A further 52% percent claimed their child’s refusal to eat healthy foods is a major issue.
According to the report, commissioned in conjunction with Heinz’s Grow Your Own campaign – parents say trying to get their children to eat healthily is a stressful experience. Overall, 82% of the parents who took part in the study claimed there are some foods that their child simply will not eat – including veg, salad, meat, fish and dairy – however according to data, vegetables are the main cause for concern.
Greens such as cabbage (43% of children will not eat it), spinach (39%) and broccoli (39%) were among the main vegetables the nation’s parents struggle to feed their children. Parents said the stress of mealtimes with their children has led to rows with their other half.
Heinz undertook the poll of 2,000 parents to mark the 5th anniversary of their Grow Your Own campaign which encourages children to learn more about where food comes from by growing their own Heinz tomatoes. The research revealed one of the major reasons children are picky with food is because they don’t know where it comes from, with parents saying their children have never grown any kind of vegetable at home.
A spokesperson said: “At Heinz, we understand that parents are increasingly conscious about what they feed their children, and we want to reassure them that Heinz Tomato Ketchup is bursting full of delicious tomatoes. Our Grow Your Own campaign – now in its fifth year – is hugely popular. With this campaign, families across the UK can get free Heinz tomato seeds online, and then enter to win a bottle of Heinz Ketchup made from their very own tomatoes.”
More than half of those who took part in the study say they are embarrassed when at other people’s houses because their children refuse to eat anything, while some admitted they have caved in and given their children something high in sugar, salt or fat – simply to avoid a scene. The study also revealed parents say they feel pressure from other parents posting pics of their children eating adventurous foods on social media.
The top ten avoided foods:
- Cabbage 43.2%
- Spinach 39.5%
- Broccoli 39.5%
- Mushrooms 38.9%
- Beetroot 35.0%
- Kale 35.0%
- Leeks 34.0%
- Lettuce 31.6%
- Tomatoes 31.2%
- Onions 30.9%