starting at a young age, most americans are not eating a healthy diet.
Only about 1 in 20 American children (5%) eat their daily target for vegetables (if we exclude fried potatoes); 12% eat their daily target for fruit.
- During the first five years of life, people establish their food preferences and eating habits; by the time children enter school, they have developed food preferences through thousands of meals and media exposures. Unhealthy diet and physical activity behaviors learned at very early ages are likely to persist throughout life.
Parents know their children’s diet should consist of more than nuggets, french fries, pizza and mac-n-cheese, but they struggle to get their children to eat vegetables. One third of parents (35%) view getting their kids to eat vegetables as a battle.
Most parents know what their children should be eating and doing, but they don’t know how their feeding practices influence their children’s likes and dislikes, diet quality and healthy habits.
Most parents feed their children they way their parents fed them (or - if they didn’t like it - they do the exact opposite). But many common practices - done with the best of intentions - do more harm than good.