Research shows that people who are exposed to a wide
variety of fruits and vegetables during their childhood are more likely to continue
eating them as adults. One way to help teach children the importance of eating
fruits and vegetables is to bring such nutrition education into the classroom.
The 5+ A Day campaign in New Zealand, for example, has delivered their message
promoting five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day to the countrys
early childhood centres and primary schools with outstanding results: One survey
shows that 73 percent of children now have fruit or vegetables in their lunchboxes
every day, and 66 percent of parents believe the 5+ A Day campaign has helped
encourage their children to eat more fresh produce.
There is also evidence
to suggest that children who receive nutritional information messages in school
tend to carry those messages home to their parents. In one such education project
in rural, southern India, for example, 84 percent of parents in 18 villages reported
they had received information from their children about the importance of eating
fruits and vegetables.
FAO helps facilitate such education initiatives
with two different programmes: Feeding Minds, Fighting Hunger provides
materials and lesson plans on issues related to nutrition and food security that
teachers around the globe can adapt for use in their classrooms. The Telefood
campaign uses high-profile concerts, sporting events and other activities to raise
donations for small, sustainable farming projects such as school gardens,
which provide children with an opportunity to learn horticultural skills as well
as eat more fruits and vegetables in more than 100 countries.
FAO Media Office
(+39) 06 570 53625