Fewer than one in 10 children eat their recommended daily servings of vegetables, according to new research, with peak vegetable body AUSVEG saying the finding highlights the need for children to have healthier diets.
The results of a recent University of Adelaide survey of children aged 9-10 years old, published in the Journal of Human Nutrition and Dietetics, show that 91 per cent of children eat fewer than the recommended daily serves of vegetables.
The Australian Dietary Guidelines recommend that children eat five serves of vegetables a day to ensure they receive the necessary nutrients to grow and develop into healthy adults.
“This research presents an extremely concerning picture of the diets of Australian children at an essential stage of their development process,” said AUSVEG spokesperson Shaun Lindhe.
“Vegetables are a vital part of any balanced diet, with a huge range of recognised health and nutrition benefits, and it’s alarming that so many children aren’t receiving the benefits that fresh vegetables can offer.”
“Cementing healthy eating habits in children from a young age can put them in good stead for the rest of their lives. It’s clear that there is a huge opportunity here to fill this gap in children’s diets and help put them on the path to healthy lifestyles as adults.”
AUSVEG is the leading horticultural body representing Australia’s 9,000 vegetable and potato growers.
The Dietary Guidelines indicate that one serving of vegetables is equivalent to half a cup of cooked vegetables, half a medium potato, or one cup of salad vegetables.
“All Australians are lucky to have access to the fresh, clean and safe vegetables produced by Australian growers right in their backyards,” said Mr Lindhe.
“Vegetables are a healthy and delicious option for the whole family, and can also be used as quick, nutritious snacks for kids instead of sugary and salty junk food.”
“With the Australian vegetable industry constantly innovating and developing new products to meet consumer needs, AUSVEG urges Australian consumers to consider the range of quick and convenient vegetable products that is available that can help them and their kids maintain a healthy lifestyle.” 

Shaun Lindhe, AUSVEG Manager – Communications
Phone: (03) 9882 0277, Mobile: 0405 977 789, Email: shaun.lindhe@ausveg.com.au


This communication was funded by Horticulture Innovation Australia using the National Vegetable Levy and funds from the Australian Government.