Fruit and veg: are our kids eating enough?

19/05/2014 Help for Parents

The Australian Health Survey was conducted over the 2012-13 period by the Australian Bureau of Statistics. The last time such a large health survey was conducted was in 1995.  The information collected includes how much Australians are eating of each food group, diet trends, and the quantities of occasional foods being consumed.

The results allow us to compare how food trends have changed over a 16 year period and also highlight where our food choices need improving.

While there is some good news in that many Australian children are meeting their daily serves of fruit required, the majority are not eating the amount of vegetables their growing bodies need.

Vegetables

It is alarming to note that only 8.6% of Australian children aged four to eight years old are meeting the 4.5 serves of vegetables recommended on a daily basis. This decreases with age as only 4.6% of Australian children aged nine to thirteen are meeting the five serves of vegetables recommended for their age group. Most of the vegetables that are being consumed are potatoes, followed by tomatoes and leaf vegetables (mostly lettuce).

Fruit

When it comes to fruit, the news isn’t quite as dire. The survey show that 80% of four to eight year olds are meeting their required 1.5 serves of fruit each day. However, this decreases as they move into their teenage years with the figure dropping to 69% of nine to thirteen year olds  and 50% of fourteen to eighteen year olds meeting their required 2 serves of fruit each day. The most popular fruits are apples, followed by bananas and mandarins.

What should we do?

The ultimate goal is to get all children to eat a wide variety of veggies every single day.  Use these handy hints to help your child meet their 5 serves of veggies.

There are still many children who are not meeting the recommended serves of 2 fruit a day. Fruit should be made readily available to children in fruit bowls around the house and as snacks in their lunchbox.

For more detailed information about the Australian Health Survey Results, please follow this link 

– May 2014