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Nearly half of UK children think they NEVER eat vegetables, study reveals

AS we’re sure all parents will agree – when it comes to convincing the kids to eat their vegetables, it can feel like you’re fighting a losing battle.

It’s for this exact reason that mums and dads resort to sneaking them into their little one’s meals without them realising – and a new study has revealed that nearly half of UK children believe they NEVER eat vegetables.

A study of 1,000 parents and their children aged between 6 and 11 discovered the hacks mum and dads use to get the kids to eat their greens.

These include not allowing any sweet foods until they’ve eaten their savoury, grating vegetables into meals and freezing fruits or fruit juices to create ice lollies or sorbets

And they appear to be working, with a quarter of parents managing to sneak broccoli into meals despite 31 per cent of kids claiming to despise it.

Other popular parenting tactics are letting their youngster choose dinner, pudding or something in the food shop and rewarding them with screen time.

The research was commissioned by Warburtons to celebrate the launch of its new ‘Half White Half Wholemeal’ range – with fortified Vitamin D and Calcium.

It also emerged that almost one in five parents think sandwiches are one of the easiest meals for sneaking healthier foods into their children’s diets, with spaghetti bolognese and stews also effective.

Physician and resident ITV doctor, Dr Zoe Williams, who has partnered with Warburtons, said: “Nothing can fully prepare you for parenting – no matter how many books you read or classes you attend.

“But there are clever ways to get by as, let’s face it, it’s not the easiest job and getting kids to bed on time, and getting them to tidy their room, eat their vegetables and ensuring they get the nutrients they need can feel like a constant battle.

“Warburtons’ recent findings just goes to show how much mums and dads rely on little ‘shortcuts’ to help their little ones.”

The study also found that parents reckon their little ones are most receptive to these tricks at the tender age of five.

More than half of parents use the hacks to make their life easier and a third rely on these strategies to make sure their youngsters get the right nutrients in their diet and eat healthy food.

In fact, 24 per cent of doting mums and dads worry their child doesn’t get enough calcium in their diet, and 33 per cent fret they don’t get enough Vitamin D.

As a result, parents will turn to ‘hacks’ an average of six times a week – as three in 10 struggle to get kids to eat their veggies, and 26 per cent battle to get them to eat a balanced diet.

The research also polled children who reckon they get the equivalent of less than three portions of fruit and veg a day.

When asked what foods are ‘healthy’, one in four kids thought carrot cake counted as a nutritious option, while three in 10 believe banana bread to be wholesome.

Nearly a fifth believe blueberry muffins are good for you, and 26 per cent see oat and raisin cookies as a healthy option.

Jill Charlton, head of nutrition at Warburtons, said: “It’s really interesting to see how parents sneak veggies into dinners, with kids none the wiser. I did the same with my three children.

“It also raises a smile to see that youngsters will consider traditionally unhealthy foods as relatively good for them because it includes a fruit or vegetable– such as carrot cake.

“The inspiration behind our Half White Half Wholemeal range is to give parents a helping hand in providing their kids with a balanced diet and making it easy to get a third of their daily intake of vitamin D and calcium.”

For more parenting stories, this frazzled mum shared a hilariously relatable before-and-after photo following months of homeschooling her son.

And this mum hailed Argos dehumidifier as a ‘life saver’ for battling kids’ colds this winter.

Plus an A&E nurse has revealed how to use Haribo to check if a child has a broken bone in their face.

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