Do your children get their five a day?
Seven in 10 mums feel their child is developing an unhealthy relationship to food.
With eight in 10 admitting their children are fussy eaters, tempted by sugary snacks and fizzy drinks, modern mums are resorting to better ploys to encourage them to eat well.
In a new study by the Chilean Blueberries Committee, it was found that the average child only eats three of their five a day.
Two thirds of mums admit to sneaking fruit and veg onto the plate yet the majority fall back on unhealthy ‘tried and tested’ meals at some point during the week.
Mums felt most snacks marketed at their children were too sugary, with 88 per cent struggling to come up with a healthy meal plan and find child-friendly recipes.
Allowing dinners in front of the TV to crafting funny faces out of fruit and veg are just some of the methods mums are left with to get their children eat their five a day.
More than nine in 10 children were happy to eat fruit, compared to just over half willing to eat their vegetables. Fresh fruits such as bananas and blueberries were some of their children’s favourites.
Yet a whopping 70 per cent of mums confessed to giving their children sugar-packed chocolate as rewards or bribes for good behaviour. This pattern was reinforced by extended family and friends.
Leading nutritionist, Dr Emma Derbyshire, said “Quite often unhealthy foods are used to reinforce good behaviour yet we should be doing this with ‘healthy’ food options.
Otherwise, these will be seen as a lowly second choice. Fresh fruits such as blueberries provide vitamin C, K, manganese, potassium and fibre.
Survey data from mums also shows that these are a great alternative choice as they are naturally sweet tasting and can be eaten straight from the punnet”.
TOP 20 MUM’S TRICKS
1. Allowing children to eat in front of a screen
2. Always dining with the children at the same time
3. Employ the 'try it once' rule - a full mouthful of food must be eaten before the child can make their mind up whether they like it or not
4. Cutting the fruit / veg into funny shapes
5. Let the children choose which fruit / veg they want in the supermarket
6. Preparing the food on the plate into the shape of a funny face or colourful picture
7. Only allowing the child to have pudding if all the veg has been eaten
8. Blending fruits into homemade smoothies as a 'treat'
9. Give the children the opportunity to choose some of the meals the family has that week
10. Offer snack bowls of fruit / veg when they're watching television
11. Not allowing children to snack on anything unhealthy until they have had a piece of fruit
12. Making fruit lollipops
13. Giving food silly names such as 'dinosaur food'
14. Chopping fruit into healthy breakfast cereals
15. Taking a piece of fruit when they pick up the kids so it's the first thing they have when they're hungry
16. Letting the children cook (with assistance) whenever they want to
17. Having a colour theme
18. Filling homemade cakes with a blended fruit puree
19. Introducing a brand new kind of fruit / veg every week for the whole family to try
20. Pureeing fruit and adding to porridge