‘Fish fingers come from chicken’ – pupils confused about food

A major survey of five to 16-year olds has revealed widespread ignorance about the source of the most common foods including bread, potatoes and tomatoes.

The survey of 27,500 pupils from the British Nutrition Foundation (BNF) coincided with its Healthy Eating Week, the BBC reports. It revealed their confusion about the food they eat every day:

  • almost a third think cheese is made from plants
  • 25% think fish fingers come from chicken or pigs
  • a third think pasta and bread are made from meat
  • 10% think potatoes grow on trees.

The survey revealed that nearly nine in 10 secondary pupils knew that they should eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day – though 81% admitted they eat four or fewer portions. However, children would like to cook more, with 85% across all age groups saying they liked cooking, though 9% of primary children and 11% of secondary pupils never cook at home.

The BNF says the survey proves the need for better teaching about cooking and healthy eating and is calling for a national framework and guidance for food and nutrition education, ‘especially at a time when levels of childhood obesity are soaring’.

Do you recognise the survey’s results in your own pupils?

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