Despite the fact that more than two thirds of parents buy fresh fruit every time they go food shopping, 56% of moms characterize getting kids to eat fruit and vegetables as “not easy,” “a constant battle,” or “impossible,” according to a study commissioned last month by Dole Food Company and WORKING MOTHER magazine.

“For years, Dole has focused on helping parents improve their children’s nutrition,” said Jennifer Grossman, Sr. Vice President, Dole Food Company Nutrition Institute. “These findings reinforce the fact that persistence, consistency, creativity and convenience are key to helping increase kids’ fruit and vegetable intake.”

Other key findings include:
  • Over half (56 percent) of moms say that repeated attempts are the best way to get their kids to eat their fruits and vegetables while nearly the same amount (55 percent) say that their kids just simply love fruits and veggies so it’s easy to serve them produce.
  • The overwhelming majority of respondents said their children enjoy apples (90 percent), bananas (87 percent), and grapes (85 percent).
  • Corn was kids’ most popular vegetable choice (82 percent), with carrots (77 percent) second, followed by broccoli (69 percent).
  • Of the 69 percent of respondents who said they pack their child’s lunch at least once a week, 83% usually include fruit, and half of them pack vegetables.
  • When asked how their children’s diet compares to that of their peers/friends, 35% said it’s better than their friends/peers, while only 10% say it’s worse.

"Working moms tell us all the time they are looking for new and clever ways to get more fruit and vegetables into their day - from color choices to fanciful plates of smiley faces," says Helen Jonsen, editor of workingmother.com. "As a mother of 4, I face the same challenge at home but have learned it’s worth the struggle when one of my children finally says, 'can you make that eggplant again!' Or 'Mom, we're out of strawberries."

The survey aims to measure the food shopping/eating patterns of mothers in America, especially with regard to children’s diets. The survey was distributed electronically to the WORKING MOTHER Smart Mom Council and developed jointly with the Dole Nutrition Institute and independent research firm, Walker Communications.

About Working Mother Media

Working Mother magazine reaches 2 million women and is the only national magazine for moms who work outside the home; WorkingMother.com offers daily solutions for home and career. This year marks the 25th anniversary of Working Mother’s signature research initiative, Working Mother 100 Best Companies, the most important benchmark for work-life practices in America. Working Mother Media, a division of Bonnier Corp. ( www.bonnier.com), includes the National Association for Female Executives (NAFE, www.nafe.com), Diversity Best Practices ( www.diversitybestpractices.com). Working Mother Media’s mission is to serve as a champion of culture change.

About Dole Food Company

Dole, with 2009 net revenues of $6.8 billion, is the world’s largest producer and marketer of high-quality fresh fruit and fresh vegetables, and is the leading producer of organic bananas and producer/shipper of organic pineapples. Dole markets a growing line of packaged and frozen fruit and is a produce industry leader in nutrition education and research. For more information, please visit www.dole.com.

Copyright Business Wire 2010