How to get children to eat more fruit and veg with JLS band member turned Farmer JB Gill

JLS band member, turned farmer, JB Gill, has been announced as brand ambassador for the ‘Good for planet. Good for me' campaign with Organix. We caught up for a chat about his hopes to support parents to make healthier food choices...

JB Gill launches new campaign with Organix_holding wall chart with children

Getting kids to eat their 5-a-day…

Look out for the Organix ‘Good for planet. Good for me.’ campaign which came about after Organix undertook research (in partnership with YouGov) to understand how many pieces of fruit & veg little ones were eating every day. The results were shocking – more than half of children under 4 are eating just two or less fruit & veg a day!  With repeated lockdowns (where parents were juggling work, home and schooling) that led to an increase in the number of processed foods youngsters are consuming, parents are worried about providing a lack of variety and not giving their children enough vegetables.

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The ‘Good For planet. Good For me.’ campaign is being led by Organix, the UK’s leading purpose-driven children’s food brand and is being joined by JLS band member turned farmer, JB Gill who has two children, Ace, 6 and Chiara, 2, with wife Chloe. ‘Good For planet. Good For me.’  hopes to encourage children to participate in a range of over 90 fun and engaging food activities to expose them to fruit and veg in a fun way. JB, the former ‘Down on the Farm’ presenter and Organix are aiming to support parents to make healthier food choices, take the stress out of dinner time and to help everyone explore healthy food through play, taste and textures, and by exploring a colourful rainbow of fruit and veggies.

JB Gill launches new campaign with Organix_planting seeds with kids
JB Gill launches new campaign with Organix_planting seeds with kids
organix-website-wallchart-600px
‘Good for Planet. Good for Me.’ : Helping kids become a rainbow explorer with activity packs

Mark Golder, Managing Director of Organix, said:

Campaigning has always been a huge part of who we are. From our inception nearly 30 years ago, we have been challenging the government and food industry to do the right thing for both parents and children. Our past research has led to high profile direct action, from Jamie’s School Dinner campaign, to getting blue Smarties made with Azo dye removed from packs. 'Good for planet. Good for me.’ was born out of our mission to do better for future generations by supporting parents and caregivers to get little ones loving fruit and veg. As far as we’re concerned, there’s no better gift we can give.

One way to avoid stress at mealtimes is to try new fruit and vegetables away from the dinner table, in a more relaxing environment, while they kids are having some down time, taking the pressure off meal times when both parents and children may become tired and emotional. The research (* in partnership with YouGov0) also showed that:

  • 2 million children are not getting their recommended daily intake of fruit & veg
  • One fifth (20%) of all UK pre-schoolers eat only one portion a day
  • One third of all UK pre-schoolers (32%) eat only two
  • Almost 116,000 children have no vegetables at all in their daily diet
  • Of the vegetables eaten, the classic 6 vegetables are the regular go tos on kids’ plates, with carrots coming top of the charts
  • 53% of parents admit to hiding food in their children’s meals (despite it taking up to 15 tries to take to a new food)
  • 1 in 3 parents are giving up trying to get their little one to try a new food for fear of upsetting their kids

JB Gill added: “As a parent, I know how tough it can be to get your children eating a wide variety of fruit and vegetables. That’s why I’m so excited to be involved in this campaign because I know how important it is and if there’s an easier way to support parents and caregivers to do this, fantastic. As a father and a farmer, I also know how when you show kids and help them understand where food comes from, you’ll have much greater success in getting them to rethink their relationship with it. To that effect, we’ve created a wealth of amazing content to inspire parents, family members and nurseries. I can’t wait to share it with my two and help them become rainbow explorers too.”

JB Gill launches new campaign with Organix_with fruit & veg box
JB Gill launches the new campaign with Organix 

JB Gill’s Exclusive Tips:  How to get Children to eat more fruit and vegetables 

  • Try everything! We have a policy in our house that you must try everything and if you don’t like it, that’s fine.
  • Experiment We have always encouraged experimenting with the family and aren’t afraid to try things again even if they were not a hit the first time around. For our daughter Chiara who is 2 years old, she is into copying others eating, we sometimes don’t prepare her her own plate but we make more on my or my wife’s plate. If it’s a food she doesn’t know or perhaps might not like, I often find she wants to try it because I have it, whereas if she had it in front of her she’d be more likely to reject it! We have the added benefit of a son who loves most foods and her brother is her favourite person to copy!”
  • Go for Balance Balance is the key to a healthy diet. There shouldn’t be anything off limits, but if you eat the same thing every day, you’re not getting the range of vitamins, minerals and nutrients you need to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

**  The ‘Good for planet. Good for me.’ campaign designed to encourage little ones to accept and enjoy a broad palate of fruit and vegetables, understanding where this food comes from, and encourage kids to become a rainbow explorer, will be available to support parents and over 300,000 nursery school children across the UK throughout May.

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>> To find out more visit:  The Organix website at https://www.organix.com/goodforme and the campaign partner, National Day Nurseries Association at www.ndna.org.uk/organix  The NDNA is a national charity representing children’s nurseries across the UK, to get preschool children eating more fruit & veg.