Parents ‘confused about a healthy diet for their kids’

Gaps SM Farm

With so much information and advice available, new research shows that British parents are understandably unsure of exactly what makes up a healthy diet and lifestyle for their kids.

Most are confident their children already get a good diet, but strikingly 30 per cent reported their kids don’t get enough variety in their diet, 29 per cent admitted their children are not active enough and more than one in 10 (11 per cent) believe their kids don’t get enough dairy.

Parents’ gaps in understanding when it comes to what the whole family needs to achieve a nutritious and balanced diet have been revealed by new insights from dairy cooperative Arla.

Some of the results were surprising and revealed that while schools lead the charge in educating children about nutrition (46 per cent), there is a huge opportunity for kids to learn through family time and discussions, with 31 per cent teaching their kids about nourishing their bodies in this way.

To help tackle the issues around nutrition education, one Arla farmer, Jonny Burridge and his cow Jelly, are on a mission to help parents and children understand what happens on a farm, where food and drink comes from and what makes it nutritious.

Launching their first book last year to share sustainable farm experiences with families, they’re back today, joining forces with registered nutritionist Rhiannon Lambert with their second book which focuses on nutrition and educating the whole family on a well-balanced diet.

Some 81 per cent of respondents surveyed by Arla didn’t know how much calcium their kids need each day, while few were aware that milk is a good source of protein, vitamin b12, potassium, phosphorus or iodine (37, 28, 15, nine and five per cent respectively).

According to the research, it’s not so much a lack of impetus that’s hampering our kids’ diets, more a lack of understanding of nutrition and which foods include which nutrients and how much we really need to ensure we’re getting the right amounts.

Jonny and Jelly’s new book takes families on a farmyard journey of discovery to uncover why we all need a healthy and balanced diet, including the cows that make our milk, with a look at Jelly’s own special breakfast combination.

Loaded with information about why nutrition is so important, kids are immersed into Jelly’s inquisitive nature as they discover more.

The book even features handy information including exactly what’s in a glass of milk, coupled with fun family friendly recipes to try at home.

Jonny, alongside over 2,300 other UK Arla farmer owners, is backing the need to help parents teach their kids from a young age about how important a nutritionally complete diet, alongside an active lifestyle is.

Hoping to spark solid choices as they grow, the vision is to help future-proof the health of the next generation.

Danny Micklethwaite, spokesperson for Arla, explained: “Of the parents we surveyed, one in 10 (11 per cent) said they didn’t know where to find information about children’s optimum nutrition, and they don’t trust any particular sources to educate them.

“This is something we feel we have a responsibility to help change.

“Arla is owned by over 2,300 farmers – all as passionate as Jonny about helping kids gain a good understanding of how their food gets in front of them and what it contains to help them fuel their bodies.”

The new free book, Jonny and Jelly Go from Strength to Strength, is available to download now from the Arla website while an audio version has been launched on Spotify.

n To find out more, or download the book, visit www.arlafoods.co.uk/forward-thinking-dairy/jonny-and-jelly-go-from-strength-to-strength/

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