Tesco has today (Friday 29th July) announced that it will be offering free fruit to children across the UK. Launching in over 800 stores, the initiative means it’s even easier for children to get their five a day.
Children should eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day
The Government recommends that children, like adults, eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. But research has shown that on average, children in England eat only about three portions, with many eating fewer.
"Eating fresh fruit is an important part of a health diet"
Helen Dickens, Diabetes UK Interim Director of Prevention of Type 2 diabetes, said: “Eating fresh fruit is an important part of a healthy diet, and this exciting new initiative from Tesco will make it even easier for parents and children across the country to swap less healthy snacks for one of their five a day. “Unhealthy diets and being overweight can lead to serious health conditions in later life like Type 2 diabetes which, unlike Type 1 diabetes, is largely preventable by eating well and getting active. Alongside our National Charity Partnership with Tesco and the British Heart Foundation, we welcome Tesco’s ongoing commitment to making the healthy choice easier for all their customers.”
Matt Davies, Tesco CEO for UK and ROI said: “We’re Britain’s biggest greengrocer, so we want to make it easier for parents to get their children eating more healthily.“As a Dad I know how tricky it can be to get children to eat their five a day so we’re hoping that this initiative will help create healthy eating habits that will stay with their children as they grow up. It will also help keep the children occupied too; making the shopping trip that little bit easier for customers.”
Tesco is also working alongside Diabetes UK and the British Heart Foundation (BHF) as part of their National Charity Partnership, which aims to raise £30 million in three years. Half the money raised will be invested in joint projects to help millions of people to eat better, and move more to help lower their risk of Type 2 diabetes and heart and circulatory disease. The remainder will be split equally between Diabetes UK and the BHF to fund vital and ongoing work. Jenna Hall, programme director for the National Charity Partnership, commented: “A good diet is known to help prevent conditions like Type 2 diabetes and heart and circulatory disease; two serious and potentially life threatening conditions. Eating habits that we learn as children are likely to stay with us into adulthood so it’s important for us all to think about how we help children to eat better from an early age.“As a partnership, we’re supporting young families to eat more healthily through practical initiatives like our holiday lunch clubs because we know many parents aren’t always able to buy the healthiest foods all of the time. Making fruit more accessible and encouraging people to adopt healthier eating habits sooner can only be good for the health of future generations. It’s great to see Tesco leading the way with this innovative approach.”