A lit­tle help in get­ting kids to eat healthy

‘Bri­tain’s big­gest greengrocer’ in­tro­duces free fruit ini­tia­tive to help par­ents at Amer­sham and Ger­rards Cross stores

Buckinghamshire Advertiser - - NEWS - by Camilla Good­man camilla.good­man@trin­i­tymir­ror.com Twit­ter: @Camil­la_Good­man

TESCO is of­fer­ing chil­dren free fruit while their par­ents are shop­ping in store, as a ‘lit­tle help’ for kids to eat more healthily.

The ini­tia­tive, which is be­ing launched in more than 800 Tesco and Tesco Ex­tra stores across the UK, in­clud­ing Amer­sham and Ger­rards Cross, is aimed at cre­at­ing healthy eat­ing habits among kids that will stay with them as they grow up, and to make it eas­ier for chil­dren to get the fruit and veg­eta­bles they need.

The Gov­ern­ment rec­om­mends that chil­dren – like adults – eat at least five por­tions of fruit and veg­eta­bles ev­ery day.

But re­search has shown that only 10 per cent of boys and seven per cent of girls be­tween the ages of 11 and 18 meet the five-a-day rec­om­men­da­tion.

On av­er­age chil­dren in Eng­land eat only about three por­tions, with many eat­ing fewer.

Par­tic­i­pat­ing stores will have a selec­tion of fruits avail­able in­clud­ing ap­ples, soft cit­rus and ba­nanas for par­ents to take to give to their chil­dren.

The move comes af­ter Maria Simp­son, a Tesco check­out col­league from a store in Lin­colnshire, sug­gested giv­ing free fruit to par­ents for their chil­dren to eat dur­ing shop­ping trips as an al­ter­na­tive to sweets.

The idea was taken up by the store and was so well re­ceived by cus­tomers that Tesco de­cided to trial the ini­tia­tive in Scot­land to see how it might work on a big­ger scale.

Tesco CEO for UK and ROI Matt Davies said: “We’re Bri­tain’s big­gest greengrocer, so we want to make it eas­ier for par­ents to get their chil­dren eat­ing more healthily.

“As a Dad, I know it can be tricky get­ting chil­dren to eat their fruit and veg­eta­bles, so we’re hop­ing this ini­tia­tive will help cre­ate healthy eat­ing habits that will stay with chil­dren as they grow up.”

The ini­tia­tive has been wel­comed by health ex­perts and char­i­ties.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive of the Bri­tish Heart Foun­da­tion Si­mon Gille­spie said: “A healthy diet can help re­duce the risk of heart dis­ease, the UK’s sin­gle big­gest killer. It also pre­vents you from gain­ing weight, re­duc­ing your risk of Type 2 di­a­betes and high blood pres­sure.”

“It’s great to hear about Tesco’s new Free Fruit for Kids ini­tia­tive. It’s a pos­i­tive step to­wards im­prov­ing chil­dren’s health through­out the UK and helps par­ents en­sure their chil­dren get their five por­tions of fruit and veg­eta­bles ev­ery day.

“This ini­tia­tive com­ple­ments the work we’re do­ing with Tesco and Di­a­betes UK through our Na­tional Char­ity Part­ner­ship. Ev­ery­one should aim for a bal­anced diet and it’s re­ally pos­i­tive to see Tesco giv­ing fam­i­lies a help­ing hand again.”

The ini­tia­tive marks the lat­est step in Tesco’s drive to make it eas­ier for col­leagues and cus­tomers to eat more healthily.

We’re hop­ing this ini­tia­tive will help cre­ate healthy eat­ing habits that will stay with them

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