Did anyone watch Jamie’s American Food Revolution (it was on tele last year)?
If you didn’t, here’s the just: after celeb chef Jamie Oliver successfully led a campaign to change unhealthy diets and poor cooking habits for the better in the UK, he was inspired to take on the big ol’ U.S of A. Hence the introduction of a series that followed the attempts of the Naked Chef to lead a protest against processed foods in the schools that populated the town of Hunington, supposedly the “fattest town in America”.
What Jamie’s campaign revealed about many of the children in the town, both younger and older, is that very few know what vegetables are and where they come from. Jamie questioned a class of first graders who had literally no clue.
This is information that I assumed all children just knew. The show reminded me that, actually, children don’t just know. If a toddler’s eating habits include never ever eaten a tomato – at home or at school – how will they know what it is?
In a recent survey by Opinion Matters, it was revealed that toddlers’ eating habits are ‘more burgers than broccoli.’ According to the figures, 60 per cent of toddlers (aged one to three) have been to a fast food restaurant and the vast majority of toddlers questioned had tried chips (86%), pizza (80%) and chicken nuggets (68%).
This echoes previous data from the Infant and Toddler Forum, which revealed 29 per cent of toddlers eat a takeaway once a week and that 81% of toddlers are regularly given ready-made adults foods likely to be high in fat, sugar and salt.
Scary. But wait…
Favourite meals of the one to three year olds surveyed included spaghetti bolognaise, chicken and shepherd’s pie but also Chinese takeaway, McDonald’s, chips and pizza.
Six out of ten mums surveyed for the study said they were unaware of the UK Departments of Health recommendation that toddlers should receive a daily supplement containing vitamins A, C and D and responses showed 74% of toddlers are not given these extra vitamins.
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