UFU focus on Fruit and Veg Campaign at Balmoral.
People understand the need for fruit and vegetables to be a key part of their diet, but there is a gulf between that and real life. In response to this, the Ulster Farmers’ Union has joined forces with Veg Power and the Food Foundation to convince parents and children that eating more healthily is not only good, but also a tasty decision.
“Good food choices are not boring. We need to get across the message that when it comes to fruit and vegetables different approaches to preparation and cooking can turn these into popular choices with children and indeed adults,” said UFU deputy president David Brown.
It is clear from key figures on diet and health that there is a job to be done. Government advice is that people should eat at least five and ideally seven portions of fruit or vegetables a day. However, 80 per cent of adults and more than 95 per cent of children are not achieving that target.
The UFU and the others behind a new campaign that will be launched at Balmoral Show accept that changing minds and attitudes will be a major challenge.
“Children have a tendency to turn their noses up at vegetables, often without even trying what’s on offer. That is often down to how they are cooked and presented. We know if we can get that right views soon change. We can banish the word boring for ‘WOW’. It’s about stressing that both vegetables and fruit can be tasty as well as good for you,” said Mr Brown.
In a Healthy Horticulture exhibition at Balmoral, there will be food demonstrations, seed planting for children, goody bags and a schools trail. This will be linked to a video produced to encourage kids of the benefits of eating fruit and vegetables. This video will be shown at Balmoral and other events going forward.
Mr Brown added: “The aim is a campaign that is fun and engaging. It will inspire children – and hopefully their parents as well – to enjoy the huge range of tastes, textures and colours that a world of fruit and vegetables has to offer. The diet change we want to encourage will be a life long boost for children’s health as they grow into adults”.N