Significant number of children believe cheese comes from plants, reveals new survey

 

Cheese comes from plants and fish fingers are made of chicken, according to a significant number of children questioned on their knowledge of where food comes from.

The British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) included more than 27,500 children in the research and found that nearly a third (29 per cent) of primary school children think that cheese comes from plants, and nearly one in five (18 per cent) primary school children said that fish fingers comes from chicken.

The survey also found that one in 10 secondary school children believe that tomatoes grow under the ground.

The largest of its kind, the study was conducted as part of the BNF's Healthy Eating Week, which is launched today by The Princess Royal.

More than 3,000 schools are participating in the week-long event, during which over 1.2 million children will learn about healthy eating, cooking and where food come from.

Roy Ballam, education programme manager at the BNF, said the high numbers of schools taking part shows there is an understanding of how important it is to encourage healthy eating.

"Schools throughout the UK require a national framework and guidance for food and nutrition education to support the learning needs of children and young people, especially at a time when levels of childhood obesity are soaring.

"Through Healthy Eating Week, we hope to start the process of re-engaging children with the origins of food, nutrition and cooking, so that they grow up with a fuller understanding of how food reaches them and what a healthy diet and lifestyle consists of.

"The fact that so many schools in England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales have registered to participate in the Week demonstrates their understanding of how important healthy eating is and their commitment to giving children a solid grounding from which to create healthy lives for themselves," he said.

Over three quarters (77 per cent) of primary school children and nearly nine out of every 10 (88 per cent) secondary school pupils know that people should consume five or more portions of fruit and vegetables each day.

However, 67 per cent of primary school children and 81 per cent of secondary school pupils reported eating four or less portions of fruit and vegetables daily, while two in every five children at secondary school did not think that frozen fruit and vegetables count towards their five a day.

The research also shows that a significant number of children do not eat breakfast each morning, which increases with the age of the children.

On the day of the survey, 8 per cent of primary school children said they had not eaten breakfast that morning, and this increased to nearly a quarter (24 per cent) in 11-14-year-olds, and to over a third (32 per cent) of 14-16-year-olds.

When questioned on the more general point as to whether they have breakfast each morning, 6 per cent of primary school children, 19 per cent of 11-14-year-olds and a quarter of 14-16 year olds reported not eating breakfast every day.

The BNF research also looked at reported home cooking behaviour and shows that 17 per cent of primary school children and 19 per cent of secondary school children cook at home either every day or once a week.

However, 9 per cent of children at primary school and 11 per cent of children at secondary school said they never cook at home.

84 per cent of primary school children and nearly three quarters (73 per cent) of secondary school children would like to cook more and an average of 85 per cent of children across all age groups said they enjoy cooking.

Mr Ballam added: "Through this survey one in five (21 per cent) primary school children and 18 per cent of secondary school pupils told us that they have never visited a farm.

"This may go part way to explaining why over a third (34 per cent) of five to eight-year-olds and 17 per cent of eight to 11-year-olds believe that pasta comes from animals."

PA

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (B2B) - Romford - £40,000 + car

£35000 - £40000 per annum + car and benefits: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager...

Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000

£18000 - £20000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Helpdesk Analyst - Devon - £20,000 ...

Ashdown Group: Data Scientist - London - £50,000 + bonus

£35000 - £50000 per annum + generous bonus: Ashdown Group: Business Analytics ...

Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Development) - Kingston

£45000 - £50000 per annum: Ashdown Group: IT Project Coordinator (Software Dev...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: ‘We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon’, says Ed Balls

'We will not sit down with Nicola Sturgeon'

In an exclusive interview, Ed Balls says he won't negotiate his first Budget with SNP MPs - even if Labour need their votes to secure its passage
VE Day 70th anniversary: How ordinary Britons celebrated the end of war in Europe

How ordinary Britons celebrated VE Day

Our perception of VE Day usually involves crowds of giddy Britons casting off the shackles of war with gay abandon. The truth was more nuanced
They came in with William Caxton's printing press, but typefaces still matter in the digital age

Typefaces still matter in the digital age

A new typeface once took years to create, now thousands are available at the click of a drop-down menu. So why do most of us still rely on the old classics, asks Meg Carter?
Discovery of 'missing link' between the two main life-forms on Earth could explain evolution of animals, say scientists

'Missing link' between Earth's two life-forms found

New microbial species tells us something about our dark past, say scientists
The Pan Am Experience is a 'flight' back to the 1970s that never takes off - at least, not literally

Pan Am Experience: A 'flight' back to the 70s

Tim Walker checks in and checks out a four-hour journey with a difference
Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics - it's everywhere in the animal world

Humans aren't alone in indulging in politics

Voting, mutual back-scratching, coups and charismatic leaders - it's everywhere in the animal world
Crisp sales are in decline - but this tasty trivia might tempt back the turncoats

Crisp sales are in decline

As a nation we're filling up on popcorn and pitta chips and forsaking their potato-based predecessors
Ronald McDonald the muse? Why Banksy, Ron English and Keith Coventry are lovin' Maccy D's

Ronald McDonald the muse

A new wave of artists is taking inspiration from the fast food chain
13 best picnic blankets

13 best picnic blankets

Dine al fresco without the grass stains and damp bottoms with something from our pick of picnic rugs
Barcelona 3 Bayern Munich 0 player ratings: Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?

Barcelona vs Bayern Munich player ratings

Lionel Messi scores twice - but does he score highest in our ratings?
Martin Guptill: Explosive New Zealand batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Explosive batsman who sets the range for Kiwis' big guns

Martin Guptill has smashed early runs for Derbyshire and tells Richard Edwards to expect more from the 'freakish' Brendon McCullum and his buoyant team during their tour of England
General Election 2015: Ed Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

Miliband's unlikely journey from hapless geek to heart-throb

He was meant to be Labour's biggest handicap - but has become almost an asset
General Election 2015: A guide to the smaller parties, from the the National Health Action Party to the Church of the Militant Elvis Party

On the margins

From Militant Elvis to Women's Equality: a guide to the underdogs standing in the election
Amr Darrag: Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister in exile still believes Egypt's military regime can be replaced with 'moderate' Islamic rule

'This is the battle of young Egypt for the future of our country'

Ex-Muslim Brotherhood minister Amr Darrag still believes the opposition can rid Egypt of its military regime and replace it with 'moderate' Islamic rule, he tells Robert Fisk
Why patients must rely less on doctors: Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'

Why patients must rely less on doctors

Improving our own health is the 'blockbuster drug of the century'