One in two UK kids refuses to eat veg

Almost half (46 percent) of British children refuse to eat vegetables, according to a new study of parents.

By The Newsroom
Thursday, 16th March 2017, 3:52 pm
Updated Friday, 24th March 2017, 10:56 am

Researchers surveyed UK parents about the eating habits of their children - and revealed a staggering 75 percent have worries or concerns about their fussy eating.

A further 52 percent claimed their child’s refusal to eat healthy foods is a major issue, according to the study.

According to the report, commissioned in conjunction with Heinz’s Grow Your Own campaign - 66 percent of parents say trying to get their children to eat healthily is a stressful experience.

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Overall, 82 percent of the parents who took part in the study claimed there are some foods that their child simply will not eat – including veg, salad, meat, fish and dairy – however according to data, vegetables are the main cause for concern, with 46 percent of children refusing to eat them.

Greens such as cabbage (43 percent of children will not eat it), spinach (39 percent) and broccoli (39 percent) were among the main vegetables the nation’s parents struggle to feed their children.

Mushrooms (39 percent) and beetroot (35 percent) were also revealed as foods kids are highly likely to refuse, while 13 percent said their child would not eat any red meat - and a further one in ten said their children will not eat an apple.

A desperate 38 percent said the stress of mealtimes with their children has led to rows with their other half – with 59 percent saying they often feel at the wits end with the problem.

Heinz undertook the poll of 2,000 parents to mark the 5th anniversary of their Grow Your Own campaign which encourages children to learn more about where food comes from by growing their own Heinz tomatoes.

The research revealed one of the major reasons children are picky with food is because they don’t know where it comes from, with 64 percent of parents saying their children have never grown any kind of vegetable at home - compared to just 36 percent who say they have.

And of the 36 percent who said they had tried to grow their own food, 32 percent said it made their children more willing to try new foods.

A spokesperson said: “At Heinz, we understand that parents are increasingly conscious about what they feed their children, and we want to reassure them that Heinz Tomato Ketchup is bursting full of delicious tomatoes. Our Grow Your Own campaign – now in its fifth year – is hugely popular.

“With this campaign, families across the UK can get free Heinz tomato seeds online, and then enter to win a bottle of Heinz Ketchup made from their very own tomatoes.”

More than half of those who took part in the study (53 percent) say they are embarrassed when at other people’s houses because their children refuse to eat anything, while 64 percent admitted they have caved in and given their children something high in sugar, salt or fat – simply to avoid a scene.

The study also revealed 48 percent of parents say they feel pressure from other parents posting pics of their children eating adventurous foods on social media.

A further 60 percent say they find family mealtimes stressful and a further 47 percent say they avoid going to restaurants with their children because they know they won’t be able to find anything on the menu their kids will eat.


Cabbage 43.2%

Spinach 39.5%

Broccoli 39.5%

Mushrooms 38.9%

Beetroot 35.0%

Kale 35.0%

Leeks 34.0%

Lettuce 31.6%

Tomatoes 31.2%

Onions 30.9%

Peppers 30.9%

Lentils 29.7%

Peas 25.3%

Carrots 23.4%

Cucumber 23.2%

Fish 19.8%

Beans 19.0%

Sweetcorn 17.0%

Eggs 16.6%

Oranges 14.1%

Red meat (lamb / beef) 13%

Potatoes 12.0%

Bananas 12.9%

Gravy 10.2%

Apples 10.4%

White meat (chicken / pork) 9.8%