What Is the 5-a-day Scheme? How Can it Benefit Children?

Currently in England, the 5-a-day School Scheme is attracting considerable amount of attention and comment as a great way to get kids to eat their fruit and veg on a daily basis. We all know that fruit and vegetables are very important to eat because they are great sources of nutrition.

Research has shown us that though we should all be having five servings (portions) of fruit and veg in a day, most of us and our diets fall short of that ideal. In fact it was seen that in England, that the average child eats just two portions of allocated 5 in a day.

5-a-day SchemeSo a government sponsored scheme is now trying to get kids to eat more fruit and veg by making a piece of fruit or veg available free of charge to kids in school.

Children have a choice between tomatoes, bananas, carrots, pears, apples, satsumas, strawberries etc.

This is not only so that the child actually eats a bit of fresh produce but also so that awareness of the importance of eating healthy rises among kids.

The veggies are delivered to school three times a week to ensure that what the kids eat is fresh and healthy.

Here are some tips that will help parents increase the amount of fruit and vegetables that their child eats –

  • Morning break in school is a time that most children are looking to have a little something to snack on. Ensure that the child has a banana or an apple, or some carrot sticks to munch on at this time. Pop them into the school bag as the child leaves for school.
  • At lunch time in school encourage your child to pick more veggies to eat from the school cafeteria. If you give your child a packed lunch each day, then add things such as dried fruit (apricots, sultanas, raisins) which are sweet and delicious. Or add fresh fruit such as apples, bananas, grapes and so on. Coordinate with the mothers of your child’s friends so the children enjoy eating healthy together.
  • When they get home from school kids are typically hungry and will be open to trying out healthy snacks that they wouldn’t touch otherwise. This is a good time to get them to eat the fruit and veg.
  • For dinner, add veggies to stews and bakes. Chopping veggies fine or puréeing them can also work and it all counts. Offer fruit for dessert.

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