Only 9% of children get their five-a-day: Should more be done to promote healthy snacking?

This content item was originally published on, a William Reed online publication.

By Katy Askew

- Last updated on GMT

A new survey shows only 9% of UK children are eating five portions of fruit or vegetables per day.

The survey, from healthy snack maker Fruit Bowl, found one-in-four are only getting two portions a day, while average consumption stands at just 2.9 portions.

Almost half of parents, 45%, reported “struggling” to get their children to snack on fruit or vegetables. When children refuse, these parents revealed that they resort to giving them two or more unhealthy snacks a day instead.

The findings are corroborated by recent research from Mintel, which found 50% of parents find it hard to get children to eat healthier snacks. But, Mintel revealed, only 42% of parents who buy snacks agree that it is important for them to contribute to their 5-a-day.

Whilst the survey showed that most parents know the government guidelines on targets, the survey also revealed that:

  • 38% of children aged 12 and under are getting two of their 5 a day or less
  • 11% of children aged 12 and under never ​get their 5 a day

Vicki Psarias, founder of the Honest Mum blog which has more than 170,000 followers, supported Fruit Bowl's findings.

“When trying to feed my children, I’ve always tried to help them have a varied, nutritious diet but there are so many obstacles such as fussy eaters and unhealthy temptations. This survey shows that I’m not alone in my struggles. The main challenges show that parents suffer from a lack of time and equally struggle to find tasty treats children want to eat.”

Fruit Bowl Infographic
©Fruit Bowl

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