Pets in Ireland are on their way to getting their five a day, as more than one in six cheeky kids admit to feeding their veg to the dog or cat while their parents’ backs are turned, according to stats released today by the Mushroom Bureau. Despite this, a surprisingly high proportion of parents (almost two thirds) said that their children enjoyed eating vegetables, and cooked veg was ranked as their fifth favourite food, above red meat, fish and salad.
The survey, which looked at the eating habits of 2,000 children across Ireland and the UK, revealed the amusing lengths that parents will go to in the battle to get their children to eat more healthily – as more than a quarter of parents attempted bribery to get their way, whilst one in five had even told their little ones that eating vegetables would give them superpowers!
With cooked veg proving a popular choice for family meals, the main barrier to harmonious dinner times appears to be lack of variety, as just one in five children in Ireland ask to try new foods regularly. Girls proved to be slightly more adventurous than boys as just 26% of them were reluctant to experiment with food, compared to over a third of boys. Over 80% of parents said they would like to introduce a greater range of meals to their family.
The ‘Just Add Mushrooms’ campaign, run by the Mushroom Bureau, is aiming to tackle just this issue, by providing parents with hundreds of simple, healthy and inspiring meal ideas that the whole family can enjoy – available at justaddmushrooms.ie
Stephen Allen of the Mushroom Bureau commented:
“Our survey results show that, whilst there will always be a struggle for parents to get their kids to eat more healthily, the majority of children do enjoy eating vegetables when they are included in tasty everyday meals.
“Mushrooms are such a versatile and affordable way to add flavour to family cooking, and we hope that our ‘Just Add Mushrooms’ campaign will encourage parents to experiment with new ways to serve up this delicious, nutrition-packed ingredient.”
As well as being a great addition to many family favourites such as pasta, stir-fry and casseroles, mushrooms also have a whole host of health benefits, with about four mushrooms (roughly 80g) counting as one of your 5 a day fruit and vegetable portions. As a natural source of vitamin B5, which helps reduce tiredness and fatigue, mushrooms are perfect for those with a busy lifestyle – and are also naturally low in fat and calories.
For more information on the campaign and lots of tasty recipe ideas visit www.justaddmushrooms.ie