British parents admit they have no idea what their children should be eating, according to research.
Eight in 10 mums and dads feel they need more guidance on their little one’s nutritional requirements, with two thirds admitting to being confused about what they should have in their diet.
Seven in 10 parents know youngsters should consume five portions of fruit and veg a day – but 29 per cent admit they have no idea why.
When it came to knowing where to source certain vitamins, more than 15 per cent were clueless how to consume more vitamin C.
And a fifth of the 2,000 parents with kids aged 4-16 polled by Boots Kids Vitamins don’t know which foods to eat to boost their vitamin D levels.
The Department of Health recommends that all children aged six months to five years are given vitamin supplements containing vitamins A, C and D every day, but 43 per cent of parents aren’t aware of this and do not know which vitamins their children are advised to take.
But despite this, 66 per cent claim to be generally clued-up about vitamins and minerals – with 15 per cent describing themselves as ‘very knowledgeable’.
Vitamins expert and Boots Kids Vitamins spokeswoman Parminder Kaur said:
“Brits are more conscious than ever about what they put into their bodies. “However, while sources like the internet have made lots of information available, there is also a lot of disinformation out there which can be hard to filter out. “So, it’s not surprising there is confusion around how much we need of certain types of vitamins, or even where to get them from. “This can be especially difficult for parents, who have to find the balance between what their children will actually eat, and then work out if it’s good for them or not.” Parents were also quizzed on camera about their vitamin knowledge, with Andreas Azzopardi, 37 of London, saying: “I don’t really know which foods contain what vitamins, I probably just guess.”
“My son was getting colds quite regularly before we started giving him vitamins, and we wanted to help boost his immune system.”
It also emerged one in five parents mistakenly believe that if they’re not getting enough of a certain vitamin, they can just make up the difference by getting more of the other ones.
Only four in 10 were able to currently identify vitamin C as something that helps absorb iron into the body and supports the immune system.
And just a tenth were able to name the recommended daily dose of vitamin D, which is just 10 micrograms.
Twice as many people believe the suggested amount is 10 milligrams – which is 1,000 times more than advised.
Vitamin A – also known as retinol – is mainly used in the body to maintain healthy skin and eyes, but millions of Brits were totally unaware of this.
A tenth think it helps bodies make white blood cells, while others believe vitamin A helps blood clot or maintains blood pressure according to the OnePoll.com data.
The study also found one quarter of British parents worry about the levels of nutrition their children are getting, with 56 per cent giving their children a vitamin supplement product.
But of those that don’t, 10 per cent worry that supplements contain too much sugar, and another 28 per cent aren’t even sure which products they would need.
Parminder Kaur added:
“All parents would agree it’s vitally important to make sure your child grows up eating the right things. “Whilst children should be able to get all the essential nutrients they need from diet alone, sometimes they can be fussy with their diet, which is where a vitamin supplement can come in handy. “Even if you think your children get a generally healthy diet, you may wish to consider a general multivitamin as a way of filling in any nutritional gaps they may have.”