Four out of five children are still not eating enough fruit and vegetables, potentially increasing their risk of getting cancer later in life, according to the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF). According to the latest Health Survey for England, on average, boys aged five to 15 eat just over three portions of fruit and vegetables a day while girls eat marginally more. On the day of the survey one in 14 boys and one in 25 girls hadn’t had any fruit or vegetables at all.
Nathalie Winn, nutritionist for the WCRF, said the results were concerning and stressed the importance of encouraging children to adopt health eating habits as early as possible. “Scientific research shows that eating a plant-based diet with plenty of fruit and vegetables, wholegrains and pulses probably reduces the risk of a number of types of cancer later in life. “There are lots of reasons why fruit and vegetables may protect against cancer. As well as containing a variety of vitamins and minerals, which help keep the body healthy and strengthen the immune system, they are also a good source of phytochemicals — biologically active compounds which may help to protect cells in the body from damage that can lead to cancer.”
The WCRF will be working with schools across the country to encourage children to eat more fruit and vegetables as part of its Fruity Friday campaign this week. As you will be well aware, children at Learning Curve get plenty of fruit and vegetables in the meals and snacks they eat at nursery.