The initiative - which is being launched at 800 stores across the country - is aimed at creating healthy eating habits among kids.
Government recommendation states children – like adults – should eat at least five portions of fruit and vegetables every day. But research has shown that only 10 per cent of boys and seven per cent of girls between the ages of 11 and 18 meet the five-a-day recommendation. On average children in England eat only about three portions, with many eating fewer.
In our area, Tesco has stores in Skegness, Ingoldmells, Boston, Horncastle, Market Rasen, Sleaford, Spalding and Holbeach.
Participating stores will have a selection of fruits available including apples, soft citrus and bananas for parents to take to give to their children.
The move comes after Maria Simpson, a Tesco checkout colleague from a store in Lincolnshire, suggested giving free fruit to parents for their children to eat during shopping trips as an alternative to sweets.
Matt Davies, Tesco CEO for UK and ROI said: “We’re Britain’s biggest greengrocer, so we want to make it easier for parents to get their children eating more healthily.
“As a dad, I know it can be tricky getting children to eat their fruit and vegetables, so we’re hoping this initiative will help create healthy eating habits that will stay with children as they grow up.”
The initiative has been welcomed by health experts and charities. Simon Gillespie, chief executive of the British Heart Foundation, said: “A healthy diet can help reduce the risk of heart disease, the UK’s single biggest killer. It also prevents you from gaining weight, reducing your risk of Type 2 diabetes and high blood pressure.
“It’s great to hear about Tesco’s new ‘Free Fruit for Kids’ initiative. It’s a positive step towards improving children’s health throughout the UK and helps parents ensure their children get their five portions of fruit and vegetables every day.
“This initiative complements the work we’re doing with Tesco and Diabetes UK through our National Charity Partnership. Everyone should aim for a balanced diet and it’s really positive to see Tesco giving families a helping hand again.”