Cut the Junk from Children’s Food Say Mums Across the UK

Sign the pledge to say ‘no’ to junk in children’s food for the No Junk Challenge from 28th April to 4th May 2014

Mums want healthier food for children, without the added junk, according to a survey released today to launch the Organix No Junk Challenge. The survey reveals that nine out of ten (90%) Mums think children eat too much junk.   Three quarters (75%) want the food industry to reduce the levels of salt, fat and sugar in food targeted at children.

Organix, pioneers of organic toddler and baby food, is launching the ‘No Junk Challenge’, a campaign to encourage parents to cook with fresh natural ingredients and to challenge the food industry to remove the ‘junk’ from children’s food.

The No Junk Challenge will help families reclaim healthy eating by pledging their commitment to ‘no junk’ and to say ‘yes’ to healthy, natural and simple food for the family.  From 28 April to 4 May, parents will pledge to feed their family using real ingredients and will try to avoid foods with artificial colourings and flavourings, or foods high in added salt, fat and sugar.

The challenge is supported by a team of mums and bloggers, which includes Holly Bell (finalist in Great British Bake Off and blogger ‘Recipes from a Normal Mum’) and the Crumbs Sisters (creators of the popular ‘Crumbs’ TV and blog).  Along with River Cottage, Leon, Riverford and Organix, each partner will contribute a day of recipes during the challenge.

In a national survey commissioned by Organix, we asked Mums about how they feed their families and how they feel about the state of children’s food:

There’s too much junk in children’s food

  • Nine out of 10 (90%) of Mums think children eat too much junk these days.
  • Three quarters (75%) want the food industry to reduce the levels of salt, fat and sugar in food targeted at children.
  • Six out of 10 (59%) are sometimes shocked at the number of ingredients in food aimed at children, with more than half (55%) worried about what is goes in children’s food.

Parents are trying to avoid the junk in children’s food

  • More than three quarters (78%) try to avoid buying food that’s high in fat, salt and sugar
  • More than half (56%) try and avoid buying food with artificial flavourings
  • Although four out of 10 (41%) say that avoiding artificial additives is almost impossible
  • More than a third (37%) said that particular additives affect their child’s behaviour.

While parents try to choose nutritious meals for their children, most said it was hard to make the right choices – and wanted clearer labelling and regulation to protect the nutritional value of children’s food.  A third of parents struggled to understand the ingredients in products.

Call for clearer labelling

  • More than a third (37%) say they don’t understand what half of the ingredients mean on the back of the packet
  • More than six out of 10 (62%) say food labelling needs to be much clearer.
  • Half (49%) say clearer food labelling would help them make healthier food choices.

Parents don’t trust the food industry and want stricter regulation of children’s food

  • Less than one in 10 Mums (only 8%) trust the food industry to make sure the food they produce is safe and healthy for their children
  • Three quarters (74%) believe that many of the foods claiming to be healthy are high in salt, fat and sugar.
  • Two thirds (65%) want increased regulation to ensure that food targeted at children is healthy and nutritious.

Anna Rosier, Managing Director of Organix, comments: “We know that parents want to give their children good, healthy and nutritious food, but it’s not always easy to make good food choices.   We are launching the No Junk Challenge to help parents with advice on how to read the ingredients, to identify the dirty dozen, as well as providing fun activities to show parents what is in the food, and simple recipes to try out at home. 

“We are also calling for the Government and the food industry to do their part.  We need regulation and clear easy to understand labelling that will help parents choose the best for their children.  So we’re calling on parents to sign up to the No Junk Pledge.”

Call to Action

The challenge aims to create a groundswell of support beyond this initial campaign phase, to move on to develop a manifesto for children’s food in October 2014.  The No Junk campaign will call on the government and food industry to address the artificial additives and to remove the high quantities of added salt, fat and sugar content in foods targeted at children.

Sign the pledge at and join the conversation at #NoJunk

Parents will be able to take part in fun activities to explore what is in children’s food, help expose some of the junk found in children’s food, and share their own healthy and delicious recipes to cook simple meals with natural ingredients. Competitions will run throughout the week with prizes including cookery books, aprons, shopping bags and children’s cookery kits.


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