The role of fruit and vegetables in the diets of children in Europe: Current state of knowledge on dietary recommendations, intakes and contribution to energy and nutrient intakes
Cambridge University Press on behalf of The Nutrition Society
Fruit and vegetables (F&V) play an important role in the prevention of obesity and other chronic diseases and low intakes have been highlighted as one of the risk factors attributing to global mortality in adults. The childhood years are a critical period during which eating behaviours and food preferences evolve, providing an opportunity to develop and foster healthy eating practices, which carry into adulthood. This review aimed to summarise dietary guidelines relating to F&V, intakes of F&V and the contribution of F&V to energy and nutrient intakes in school-aged children in Europe. The current review showed a paucity of data in relation to guidelines specific for children for F&V consumption. Where guidelines were available, they ranged from 100-500g or one to three portions of F&V per day (with variations in the categorisations). A key finding was the lack of data on estimates of F&V intakes in school-aged children across Europe. Where data were available, intakes ranged from 221-404g/d and were generally below the World Health Organisation recommendation of at least 400g/d. F&V contributed low proportions of energy intake (6-9%) but made significant contributions to intakes of dietary fibre (19-37%), vitamin A (26-46%), vitamin C (32-83%) and potassium (16-27%), however, they also contributed to intakes of total (25-50%) and free sugar (7-11%). This review has highlighted the need for more data on estimates of F&V intakes in school-aged children in Europe and a need for continued promotion of F&V consumption to increase intakes in this age group.
Dietary guidelines , Energy , Fruit , Nutrients , Vegetables
McCarthy, R., Kehoe, L., Flynn, A. and Walton, J. (2020) 'The role of fruit and vegetables in the diets of children in Europe: Current state of knowledge on dietary recommendations, intakes and contribution to energy and nutrient intakes', Proceedings of the Nutrition Society, 79(4), pp. 479-486. doi: 10.1017/S0029665120007090
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