Fish fingers are made of chicken, say confused schoolchildren
Cheese comes from plants and fish fingers are made of chicken, according to a significant number of children questioned on their knowledge of where food comes from.
The survey by the British Nutrition Foundation also found that one in 10 secondary school children believe that tomatoes grow under the ground.
Over three quarters (77%) of primary school children and nearly nine out of every 10 (88%) secondary school pupils know that people should consume five or more portions of fruit and vegetables each day. But 67% of primary school children and 81% of secondary school pupils reported eating four or less portions of fruit and vegetables daily, while two in every five children at secondary school did not think that frozen fruit and vegetables count towards their five a day.
The research also shows that a significant number of children do not eat breakfast each morning, which increases with the age of the children. On the day of the survey, 8% of primary school children said they had not eaten breakfast that morning, and this increased to nearly a quarter (24%) in 11-14-year-olds, and to over a third (32%) of 14-16-year-olds.
When questioned on the more general point as to whether they have breakfast each morning, 6% of primary school children, 19% of 11-14-year-olds and a quarter of 14-16 year olds reported not eating breakfast every day.
The BNF research also looked at reported home cooking behaviour and shows that 17% of primary school children and 19% of secondary school children cook at home either every day or once a week.
However, 9% of children at primary school and 11% of children at secondary school said they never cook at home. 84% of primary school children and nearly three quarters (73%) of secondary school children would like to cook more and an average of 85% of children across all age groups said they enjoy cooking.
Mr Ballam added: "Through this survey one in five (21%) primary school children and 18% of secondary school pupils told us that they have never visited a farm. This may go part way to explaining why over a third (34%) of five to eight-year-olds and 17% of eight to 11-year-olds believe that pasta comes from animals."