1 in 20 parents thinks crisps count towards a child’s 5-a-day

Nutritional guidelines are confusing many of us, finds a new survey, especially about the 5-a-day target


One in 20 of us thinks a packet of crisps counts towards of our kids’ 5-a-day servings of fruit and veg. That’s perhaps the most surprising finding of a new survey that reveals how confused most parents are about the current official nutritional guidelines.


The survey of 1000 British parents found that, although 84% of us say we’re concerned about our children’s diet, half of us don’t know how much sugar or salt is too much for a child, a fifth of us are confused by front-of-pack food labelling, and one-third of us don’t really know what the 5-a-day guideline actually means.

The main 5-a-day muddle highlighted by the survey, conducted for Fruit Heroes, seems to centre on which fruit and veg count towards the daily ‘5’ target.

And potatoes appear to be the main mistake magnet – with parents identifying crisps (5%), jacket potatoes (23%) and mashed potato (14%) as 5-a-day items.

Even though potato is indeed a vegetable, it doesn’t count as part of the recommended 5-a-day because it is classified by nutritional experts as a starch staple instead.

Other 5-a-day mistakes made by the parents surveyed included thinking vitamin supplements count, and failing to identify non-fruit items, such as beans and pulses, as foods that do actually count.

Are you surprised by the results? Or do you find 5-a-day rules confusing too? Do please let us know in the comments below.

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