New figures show 95 per cent of Queensland children don’t eat enough fruits and vegetables, putting their short and long term health at serious risk.
The latest results from the Australian Bureau of Statistic’s National Health Survey show only 4.3 per cent of children aged two to 18 years eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables.
All 12 to 13 year olds surveyed, and about 98 per cent of children aged four to eight, didn’t meet the daily intake requirements for fruits and vegetables.
Cancer Council Queensland spokesperson Katie Clift said adequate daily intake of nutritious foods was essential to the short and long-term health and wellbeing of children.
“It’s crucial that our children eat a healthy diet to ensure overall wellbeing, and to instil healthy habits as they mature and develop,” Ms Clift said.
“Children should be eating between two and a half and five and a half serves of vegetables each day, depending on their age and sex.
“Children should be eating between one and two pieces of fruit each day, depending on their age and sex.
“One serve of vegetables is about one medium tomato, half a cup of sweet corn or one cup of raw salad vegetables.
“One serve of fruit is one medium apple or banana, two small apricots or plums, or one cup of canned fruit, with no added sugar.”
Up to one third of all cancers can be prevented through healthy lifestyles, including building the habit of maintaining a healthy diet.
“There are many ways parents can encourage their children to be more mindful of their food, and to eat healthily,” Ms Clift said.
“The whole family can get involved in choosing ‘everyday foods’ for home and school from the five food groups.
“Teaching children about how foods are grown and where they come from is vital. Try new foods and recipes – and encourage kids to get involved in cooking and meal preparation.
“Turn off the TV and computer at meal times, and look for a variety of types and colours of fresh vegetables and fruit that are in season, to freshen meals up.”
More information about Cancer Council Queensland is available at cancerqld.org.au or 13 11 20.
For more information or interviews, please contact:
Media and Spokesperson,
Cancer Council Queensland
Phone: (07) 3634 5372
Mobile: 0409 001 171