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One in five children think fish fingers are made from chicken

12 Juin 2017

More than a quarter of primary school children think cheese comes from plants while one in ten teenagers say fruit pastilles are healthy.

Almost a third (29 per cent) of five to seven-year-olds thought that cheese came from a plant, not an animal, while one in four older primary school pupils (aged eight to 11) thought the same.

There was also uncertainty about other foods, with 22 per cent of five to seven-year-olds saying prawns come from plants and 20 per cent suggesting that chips are made of animals. "At the BNF, we would like to see food and nutrition education for teachers included in the government's Obesity Plan to ensure that all teachers receive relevant training and have an understanding of the important role they play in supporting the health and wellbeing of children in their care." concluded Ballam.

A fifth of five to seven-year-olds believe fish fingers are made of chicken and 14 percent believe bacon is the produce of cows, sheep or chickens.

Conversely, 22 per cent of the younger children and 13 per cent of the older group believed animals provide us with pasta.

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Around one in 10 (11 per cent) of 11-14-year-olds and a similar proportion of 14-16-year-olds (10 per cent) thought that tomatoes grow underground, with 40 per cent of the younger age group saying they grow on a vine and 22 per cent saying on a bush (49 per cent and 18 per cent respectively for the older age range).

The Healthy Eating Week survey, one of the largest of its kind in the United Kingdom, reveals that 6 percent of 14 - 16 year olds say that dairy cows produce eggs and one sixth (14 percent) of 5 - 7 year olds say that bacon is the produce of cows, sheep or chickens.

A quarter of 14 to 16-year-olds think strawberry jam contributes to your "five-a-day", while 11 percent cited fruit pastels and eight percent, crisps.

Schools are the second biggest source of information for 14 to 16-year-olds (51 per cent), with 59 per cent of 11 to 14-year-olds also citing lessons.

Roy Ballam, managing director and head of education at the BNF, said: 'Assuming that information about food and health gathered from these sources has an impact on children's nutrition knowledge, and ultimately their lifestyles and health, it is important that we ensure all information is evidence based. We can't control what children access on the internet and elsewhere but we can ensure that teachers are equipped with accurate information. However, research we conducted last year among primary school teachers showed that seven in ten had not undertaken any professional development in "food" during the past two years.

One in five children think fish fingers are made from chicken