The non-profit organization Veg Power, dedicated to increasing vegetable consumption in the UK, has launched its second public health initiative, “Simply Veg.” This campaign, which kicked off yesterday, assembles top nutritionists, chefs, psychologists, and children’s entertainers with the goal of improving the dietary habits of British families. Simply Veg takes a comprehensive approach that goes beyond traditional public health nutrition education, addressing the real challenges faced by parents on a daily basis, all while making it engaging for kids.
Childhood is often the starting point for poor nutrition habits that can persist throughout one’s lifetime. Shockingly, 80% of British children do not consume an adequate amount of vegetables. Nearly one-third (29%) of children under 12 consume less than one serving of vegetables per day. While Veg Power’s award-winning “Eat Them to Defeat Them” campaign, in collaboration with ITV, has successfully encouraged children to experiment with vegetables, there is a crucial need for more support aimed at parents and caregivers. The most recent Veg Power study highlights that parents who increase their own vegetable intake and cultivate a positive food culture at home are almost twice as likely to have children who consume sufficient quantities of vegetables, are willing to try new vegetables, and find vegetables enjoyable. Importantly, these findings are applicable across all income brackets.
Dan Parker, CEO of Veg Power, stated, “For the first time, UK families have a public health campaign that recognizes that there are many potential obstacles that can affect a family’s ability to eat healthily. Through our work over the last six years, we have gained a deep understanding of the complexity of dietary patterns. The campaign is designed to be inclusive and adaptable for everyone, irrespective of their specific circumstances. We must acknowledge that feeding a family is a challenging task, with parents confronting various obstacles, including the cost of food and concerns about rejection and food waste, particularly when trying something new.”
As part of the Simply Veg initiative, a comprehensive guide is available, titled “How to Encourage Your Children to Eat More Vegetables – A Straightforward Guide for a Challenging Task.” This guide offers detailed content, videos, and entertaining activities featuring Shaun the Sheep, created by Aardman. It can be accessed at www.simplyveg.org.uk.