Roasted veggies are a favourite for young ones while added herbs can spice up the meal for more discerning palates.
Teaching our children about nutrition, as well as the dangers of obesity, is critical. Why not start with their fruit consumption?

Honest Kids, a juice brand, did a poll of 1000 UK children aged between 6 and 12 years, with disconcerting results: 20% didn’t know that apples are grown on trees, 60% didn’t know the origin of strawberries, 81% didn’t know where raspberries (a British fruit) came from and 40% didn’t know what an orchard was.

This even led to Max MacGillivary ( the MD of RedFox in the UK) and Gareth Jones’s three-month motorcycle expedition from the UK through Africa in 2016. They visited a variety of fruit farms and schools, to educate themselves on the origins of fruit. The journey culminated in a final stop in Cape Town, in February last year.

Though our South African children largely boast impressive savvy when it comes to the origin of fruit, they haven’t eluded some of the prevailing nutritional woes.

According to the 2016 Healthy Active Kids SA Report Card, nearly 23% of our children aged between 2 and 5 are either overweight or obese, and 20% are stunted. The report shines the spotlight on a lack of nutrient diversity in children’s diets as the main culprit.

The R44billion South African fruit industry looks forward to playing a more significant role in helping to advocate for our children to be educated on the importance of fruit consumption. It starts with empowering them with the relevant knowledge.

The younger the children when they learn about food’s origins and its nutritional value, the better the chance they’ll make informed decisions about their health and diet later on.

A more robust collaboration between the government and agriculture makes sense, as well as working more closely with schools to help empower our children on the critical topic of fruit consumption.

* Konanani B Liphadzi, Chief executive of Fruit SA.

** The views expressed here are not necessarily those of Independent Media.

Cape Argus