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Nature's Insights

Huge Decrease in Fruit and Veg Intake Following Lockdown

A worrying new study conducted by Northumbria University’s Healthy Living Lab found that there has been a massive decrease in fruit and vegetable intake for children receiving free school meals vouchers during lockdown. Just over half of pupils who would have received free school meals at school stated they had eaten no fresh vegetables across a three-day period, and half stated that they had eaten no fresh fruit!

We all know that fruit and vegetables are a great source of vitamins and minerals, and we should eat 5-a-day to provide our bodies with dietary fibre, antioxidants and natural sugars, but when price is an issue, how can parents provide their children with the nutrients they need?

The Most Affordable Fruit and Vegetables

World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) recently revealed that you can enjoy a main meal with red cabbage, carrots and tomatoes as well as snacking on a banana and apple for as little as 42p! Kate Mendoza, Head of Education for the WCRF, expands on this topic. You may not believe it but here is the shopping list…

  • Tesco red cabbage: 8p per portion (64p for 650g)
  • Sainsbury's Basics carrots: 4p per portion (50p for 1k)
  • Sainsbury's Basics tomatoes: 13p per portion (72p for 450g)
  • Asda bananas: 7p per portion
  • Asda Smart Price apples: 10p per portion

Wonky Fruit and Vegetables

Did you know that over a third of farmed fruit and veg will never make it to the supermarket shelves, just because they are the wrong shape or size? This wasted food leads to carbon emissions which equate to almost 400,000 cars, and a waste of more than 50 million tonnes of fruit and vegetables in Europe each year. This is due to strict laws about what is acceptable to sell and specific supermarkets’ aesthetic standards.

Some well-known and loved supermarkets that offer the option of wonky fruit and vegetables include:

  • Lidl – ‘Too Good to Waste’ scheme. Lidl offer 5kg of wonky fruit and veg which are still perfectly fine to eat all for £1.50!
  • Aldi – Get yourself a bag of wonky veg from Aldi’s Everyday Essentials range, at a much cheaper price than Aldi’s other core range of fruit and vegetables.
  • Asda – Try a 5kg box of wonky fruit and veg for just £3.50.
  • Morrisons – They offer wonky veg boxes at a much cheaper price than ones that meet the standards.
  • Tesco – Tesco’s Perfectly Imperfect range is a perfect option when shopping for fruit and veg on a budget.

For more info, click here.

What’s In Season?

When a food is in season, it is more readily available to buy and sell. This also means supermarkets introduce deals and offers. A great option to save money is to bulk-buy when the food is in season and freeze, as they could be more expensive in a couple of months.

It is useful to know which fruit and vegetables are in season for a few reasons: it is cheaper, it will taste better, and it will be more nutritious!

Some examples of seasonal fruit and vegetables are:

  • Apples and kale in January
  • Kiwis and peppers in April
  • Cherries and aubergines in July
  • Passion fruit and Brussel sprouts in December

For a full seasonal food calendar, click here.

 

Make sure to stay healthy following lockdown and don’t let the rising prices in fruit and veg hold you back with these great budgeting options!

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