While the amount of fruit eaten every day by children around WA has increased over the last 20 years, most children continue to eat less than the recommended daily amount of fruit and vegetables.
In the 20th anniversary year of Fruit ‘n’ Veg week, the Cancer Council said latest research shows the average daily fruit intake for children has increased while vegetable consumption has remained largely unchanged.
A significantly higher number of primary school boys and girls consumed more serves of fruit per day in 2008 compared to 2003. Fruit consumption for secondary girls significantly increased while consumption for secondary boys remained steady for the same period.
Nutrition & Physical Activity Manager at the Cancer Council, Steve Pratt said while all of those associated with the Fruit ‘n’ Veg week program deserved congratulations there was more work to be done to encourage greater vegetable consumption.
"We can’t lose sight of the ongoing challenges with less than half primary and secondary school students consuming the recommended daily amount of fruit and vegetables.
"We still need to send children a strong message about why they should eat more fruit and vegetables, particularly when they are bombarded with junk food advertising from a young age," said Mr Pratt. Fruit ‘n’ Veg Week is a vital part of our effort to do this."
Mr Pratt said good eating habits formed in childhood impact on future diet choices and also decrease the risk of chronic diseases in adulthood.
"We know that students take the healthy Fruit ‘n’ Veg message back to their families at home, so this year, we are challenging every school in WA to be involved in activities during Fruit ‘n’ Veg Week," said Mr Pratt.
Fruit ‘n’ Veg week involves fruit and vegetable based classroom, canteen and whole-of-school activities, all designed to encourage children to eat more fruit and vegetables. For
(Source: Cancer Council Western Australia)