Nearly Half of Kids Ages 1-5 Not Eating Daily Vegetables or Fruits, CDC Report Finds

Nearly half of kids ages 1 to 5 are not eating a daily vegetable and nearly one-third are not eating a daily fruit, according to a new report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The findings, published Thursday in MMWR, revealed that parents of Black children were most likely to report that their kids didn't eat a daily vegetable or fruit, while parents of White children were least likely.[0]

The survey questioned the parents of more than 18,000 children between the ages of 1 and 5 about their kids’ eating habits.[1] In the week prior, the rate of children who drank a sugary drink ranged from 38.8% (Maine) to 79.3% (Mississippi). In 20 states, more than one half of children did not eat a daily vegetable during the preceding week. In over half of the states and the District of Columbia, over 50% of children had consumed a sugary drink within the last week.

The CDC noted that young children need specific nutrients from a diet rich in fruits and vegetables to support their development. Limiting or reducing foods and beverages higher in added sugars, including sugar-sweetened beverages, is important because added sugars are associated with increased risk of obesity, dental caries, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, the report said.[2]

It is suggested that children between the ages of 1 and 5 consume between half to two cups of vegetables and fruits each day, depending on their age and caloric requirements. It is recommended that children aged 2 to 3 should have one cup of fruit and vegetables daily as part of their nutritional plan. Children between the ages of 4 and 8 should consume 1.5 cups of fruits and vegetables daily.

“We’ve found that it can take up to 10 times for a child to try a new food before they like it,” said Hamner.[3] It is vital to keep exposing young children to a wide range of fruits and vegetables.[3]

Fresh fruits and vegetables shouldn't be the only option for parents.[0] Incorporating nutrition into every meal can be easily achieved through the use of frozen and canned options.[0]

Hamner emphasized the significance of early dietary behaviors.[3]

0. “Kids under 5 aren't getting their greens, but they are drinking sugary drinks, new CDC report says” WKTV, 16 Feb. 2023,

1. “Half of American kids don't eat a daily vegetable, CDC finds” Axios, 16 Feb. 2023,

2. “HALF of US children don't eat a single daily piece of fruit or veg, CDC report finds” Daily Mail, 16 Feb. 2023,

3. “Young Kids Eating Too Few Greens, Drinking Too Much Soda” The Paintsville Herald, 16 Feb. 2023,