Parents believe crisps and potatoes count towards your five-a-day

Parents believe crisps and potatoes count towards your five-a-day

One in 20 parents mistakenly believe that a packet of crisps counts towards their kids' 'five-a-day' items of fruit or veg, reveals a new survey.


Researchers found nearly one in four mums and dads (23 per cent) also wrongly think a jacket potato and one in seven 14 per cent believe mashed potato count as part of the 'five-a-day' recommended by health chiefs.


However, although potato is a vegetable it doesn't count.


One in nine parents (11 per cent) also mistakenly believe vitamin supplementscount as five-a-day substitutes, while many failed to identify foods that are actually part of the five-a-day allowance, such as beans.


The survey of 1,000 British parents with children between the age of three and 15, by Fruit Heroes, also revealed that a third have discovered that certain foods they thought were healthy aren't, while more than a fifth are confused by front of pack labeling, such as the 'traffic lights' scheme and per cent GDAs.


Most alarmingly, more than one in 10 parents don't believe eating fruit is healthy - despite 84 per cent of parents being concerned about their child's diet.


Despite five-a-day being cited by parents as the main healthy diet guidelines for their children, 33 per cent of the parents polled couldn't correctly identify what "five-a-day" actually means, with only two-thirds of parents correctly identifying "five pieces of fruit or veg."


The research also showed that the foods most likely to be found in a child's lunchbox are sandwiches (69 per cent), fresh fruit (59 per cent), yoghurt (46 per cent) and crisps (41 per cent). However, one in four five and six-year-olds also have chocolate, sweets or cakes in their lunchbox.


The research suggests many parents find the lack of guidelines and mixed reports and advice confusing, so much so that more than half don't know how much sugar is too much to feed their child and almost half don't know how much is too much carbs, fat and salt to give their child. And more than a third of parents (37 per cent) don't know which are good sugars and which are bad.


Michael Hjertebjerg, of Fruit Heroes, said: "Despite the confusion, British parents are aware of the importance of healthy eating.


"They look for the right things - added sugar, preservatives and artificial ingredients, high salt and natural ingredients. However, I'm concerned how crisps, cereal bars, chocolate, biscuits and cheese make an appearance in most lunchboxes.


"We want parents to be able to substitute these lunchbox fillers with real alternatives such as Fruit Heroes - a healthier choice for parents and kids."


Nutritional expert Doctor Sarah Schenker added: "Concern and confusion seem to be the words of the day and epitomise the issues parents face every day, with mixed messages, some inflammatory statements and occasionally dated information from the Government.


"Nutrition guidelines for children can be difficult to understand and interpret when parents are faced with so much confusing and conflicting information surrounding food.


"And when faced with so many choices, some of which might seem healthy - but in truth are less so, it's not surprising that so many parents have advised that they aren't sure what they should be giving their children to eat."





By Agency,


The Telegraph, Friday 27 March 2015




View this article