Star-shaped butternut squash bites will be sold for the first time ever in Tesco this week in a bid to encourage kids to eat more healthily.
The bites are part of a new range of easy-to-eat fresh produce designed specifically for children, with smiley sweet potato faces next up on the supermarket’s shelves.
Tesco has confirmed to Farmers Guardian that all the veg in the range is British.
The move has been welcomed by the NFU, which pushed for more ‘fun shaped’ fruit and veg snacks in its Fit for the Future report published last year.
Research has shown kids will eat up to 85 per cent more fruit and veg when it has fun shapes or names, but this is the first time the approach has been used by a retailer in the UK.
Tesco vegetable buyer Elizabeth Hall said: “We want to give parents a helping hand with encouraging their kids to eat more vegetables.
“We have taken a lot of the hassle out of preparing vegetables like butternut squash, which might deter busy cooks at home, while also making them more appealing for children.
“We hope by adding a touch of novelty, we can make vegetables a deliciously nutritious and fun part of every meal.”
As well as encouraging kids to eat more healthily, it is hoped the initiative will cut down on edible food waste.
Ali Capper, chair of the NFU’s horticulture board, said: “Congratulations to Tesco on addressing how we can instil a love of fruit and vegetables in children from a very young age.
“We have long been calling on food manufacturers to create fun-shaped fruit and veg for children in smaller-sized portions, which we believe could have a role in helping reverse the current obesity crisis.”
The butternut squash stars will be available in 200 Tesco stores across the UK and cost £1.50 per 250g pack.