Majority of British children want to be meat-free, survey finds

Author: Helen Greaves

Read Time:   |  5th October 2021

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A poll of 1,000 children has revealed the eating habits of young people in the UK, and how they might change.


A new survey has shown that more than 20% of children are either already vegan or want to turn vegan in the future.

The poll was conducted by BBC Good Food this summer, and surveyed 1,000 children aged 5-16.

The results revealed that 8% of children were following a vegan diet, while a further 15% would want to switch to a vegan diet in the future.

Another 13% of those surveyed were following a vegetarian diet and 21% wanted to go meat-free, meaning only 43% of children showed interest in continuing to eat meat in their futures.

The children were also asked about how they would like to see the food industry change over the next decade.

44% said they would like to see no plastic packaging on food. However, only 37% believed this would happen.

Other findings

Of the children surveyed:

73% agreed they’d like to try different kinds of food

68% of children know how to make toast

59% of children said they had done some baking during the pandemic

74% agreed they’d like to cook more at home

One in four children would like for food in the future to be delivered by drones

1 in 14 children would like there to be an insect-based diet in ten years’ time

The findings indicate that so-called “fussy eaters” may not be such a barrier to children turning vegan as one might expect.

children want to be meat-free environmental care

Christine Hayes, the editor of BBC Good Food, said: “It was fascinating to survey children’s eating habits, behaviours and opinions around food.

“The findings are revelatory and show that far from being fussy eaters, children want to take over the nation’s kitchens – baking and preparing meals, trying different kinds of foods.

“They are passionate about exploring alternative diets and methods of food production that could be more sustainable for the planet.”

A well-planned vegan diet can be healthy and nourishing for people of all ages, including young children.

Read more about raising children on a vegan diet.

Written by

Helen Greaves

Helen has been vegan since 2018 and has a background in vegan food marketing and social media. She's mother to a mischief of rats, and loves to spend her spare time making vegan cakes and bakes.

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