Feb 22, 2023 - News

Washington kids rank high for eating veggies, per CDC

Nationwide, nearly half of kids ages 1-5 don't eat even one vegetable a day, according to new CDC data. And approximately one in three young children isn't getting at least one daily fruit in their diets.

But Washington rocks it! We're third highest for kids consuming at least one veggie a day, behind Vermont and Maine.

  • When it comes to fruit, we're second highest. (Vermont wins again).

Why it matters: Kids' diets impact their growth and development.

By the numbers: The data comes from surveying parents of 18,836 young children over six months, mostly in 2021. The question: did your child eat a vegetable or fruit every day in the past week?

  • In Washington, 64.5% of children got a daily vegetable dose, compared to 50.9% nationally.
  • Fruit fared better. Parents reported 80.6% of Washington youngsters ate fruit every day, compared to the national rate of just under 68%.
  • The CDC also asked about sugary drinks. Here Washington fell to eighth place, with 46.3% of under-5s sipping something sweetened at least weekly.

Separately: What about when kids grow up? Jimmy Wild, owner of the Top Banana fruit stand directly across from Ballard High School, estimated that 20% of student shoppers pick up fresh produce.

  • Menus matter. Before Top Banana added sandwiches and other snacks, kids "probably bought more fruit," Wild said.
  • Bananas, oranges, nectarines and carrots are popular.
  • Anything easy to eat, Wild said. "That big head of cauliflower, they're not going to buy."

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