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Nina Pullman



‘Broccoli and bananas are classed as dairy’

A new study has produced worrying evidence that children still do not understand the origin of major fresh produce items

‘Broccoli and bananas are classed as dairy’

Children are confused about what is classed as fruit or veg

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Children believe tomatoes grow underground and bananas are classed as dairy, according to a new survey from the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF).

The research, conducted as part of the BNF’s annual Healthy Eating Week, surveyed over 5,000 school children aged 5-16 years old, found that one in ten 11-14 year olds do not know that carrots and potatoes grow underground.

Almost a quarter of 5-7 year olds said that bananas, roast chicken, broccoli and wholegrain bread belong in the dairy and alternatives food group.

Meanwhile, a sixth (16 per cent) of the same age group reported that bread, yoghurt, chocolate and salmon are classed as fruit and vegetables.

Over half of 11-14 year olds said they use the internet as a reliable source of information on healthy eating, and this increases to almost two thirds (64 per cent) for the 14-16 age group. Schools are the second biggest source of information for 14-16 year olds.

BNF managing director Roy Ballam said: “We can’t control what children access on the internet and elsewhere but we can ensure that teachers are equipped with accurate information.

“Schools and families can and should successfully work together to, in turn, educate children and then motivate them in their endeavours to make healthier choices. Furthermore, the links between physical activity, health and diet should be frequently highlighted by the government’s programmes.

“At the BNF, we would like to see food and nutrition education for teachers included in the government’s Obesity Plan to ensure that all teachers receive relevant training and have an understanding of the important role they play in supporting the health and wellbeing of children in their care.” 

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