New research reveals the “bitter fruits” of children’s eating habits

Posted by AFN Staff Writers on 12th December 2012

Less than half of Australian parents prepare fresh fruit for their family on a daily basis, according to a new report released today by Australian Pineapples.

The Australian Pineapples Family Nutrition Report surveyed 510 Aussie parents about their eating habits and fruit intake. The report focused on parental influence on children’s eating habits and the buying behaviour around fresh fruit.

The report found that despite 60 per cent of parents want their kids to eat more fresh fruit, but only 46 per cent of parents provide fresh fruit for their children every day.

The report also found that 25 per cent of parents claim the biggest challenge they face when feeding their children fresh fruit was the amount of effort required. A further 15 per cent claim their children dislike the taste.

Nutritionist Dr Joanna McMillan said that processed fruit snacks such as bars, purees and fruit cups are the most common form of fruit served to Aussie kids for 15 per cent of parents.

“Many parents mistakenly believe that processed fruit snacks are an easier option, despite fresh fruit offering a much higher nutritional content and value for money,” Dr McMillan said.

Dr McMillan said that developing healthy eating habits early in life is vital.

“Despite reports showing 20 per cent of Australian children are overweight or obese before kindergarten; parents are still failing to respond to concerns around childhood nutrition,” Dr McMillan said.

“Eating a healthy diet including fresh fruits is important for a child’s growth and development. It may also lower their chances of developing chronic diseases such as heart disease, diabetes or cancer, later in life,” she said.