New book launched as one in five British kids don't know milk comes from cows

Farmer Jonny Burridge and Jelly are the stars of a new book aimed at teaching children more about where milk comes from
Farmer Jonny Burridge and Jelly are the stars of a new book aimed at teaching children more about where milk comes from

One-fifth of school children don't know milk comes from cows, a survey has found.

Research has revealed the bizarre beliefs that primary school kids have about where basic essentials, such as bread and milk, and treats like chocolate originate from.

Of the 1,000 children quizzed, one-fifth (21%) didn't know milk comes from cows while a tenth (11%) believe milk comes from supermarkets.

A fifth of kids believe bread is made on a farm (18%) while one-in-ten (11%) believe chocolate is made there too.

More than a third (36%) of the 6-11-year-olds surveyed think squash is better for them than milk, with almost half of 6-7-year-olds (43%) not aware that milk has more nutrition that orange squash.

The research, by leading dairy cooperative Arla, revealed the lack of understanding may be compounded by the fact that one in ten (9%) had never been to a farm before.

Ex-Blue Peter host and Countryfile presenter Helen Skelton is backing the campaign, which has seen Arla release a kid-friendly book to bust the myths surrounding dairy farming.

Helen said: "I grew up on a dairy farm so I was lucky enough to connect what I saw around me with what was being put on the table in front of me.

"But I’m really aware that so many children don’t get that opportunity so it’s easy to see how they can feel very disconnected to the food they eat.

"If we don’t know where our food comes from and what’s in it, how can we be expected to understand what’s good for us and what isn't?

"My kids have really enjoyed reading about Jonny and Jelly and finding out more about the food we enjoy.”

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The storybook called Jonny and Jelly Go Round And Round is based on a real-life dairy farmer and his cow, providing a fun insight to day-to-day life on the farm.

The book draws children into the farmyard and explores the dairy process and other elements of typical dairy farm life through the eyes of inquisitive cow Jelly.

Curious, she follows her farmer Jonny around the farm and learns there’s more to what goes on than she first expected.

TV presenter Helen Skelton, who grew up on a dairy farmer, has given her support to a campaign to raise the profile of farming amongst primary school children
TV presenter Helen Skelton, who grew up on a dairy farmer, has given her support to a campaign to raise the profile of farming amongst primary school children

Arla farmer Jonny Burridge, the proud protagonist in the story, said: "It’s easy to take what we do for granted.

"But knowing that one in 10 children have never been on a farm, so have no idea what goes on or what we’re producing here, was a bit of an eye-opener for me.

"I’m very pleased that Jelly and I are the characters who will introduce children to life on a dairy farm and all that goes on here while we make the milk for their cereal.

"It’s even more special knowing the book is linked to making sure so many disadvantaged children are being given a good start to the day.”

Arla is offering the book as a free digital download for parents and will be making a donation to the charity Magic Breakfast of 15,000 healthy breakfasts to help feed disadvantaged children in the UK.

This is on top of the 580,000 milk vouchers Arla has already donated as part of their ongoing partnership with the charity.

"Helping kids understand how good, nutritious food gets to the table is one thing, but we also want to help make sure that is a reality," said Arla's Danny Micklethwaite.

"That’s why we’re working with Magic Breakfast to support hungry children around the UK.

"Each download of the book helps us to do that, so while parents are reading about Jonny and Jelly with their children, they’re also helping another child get a nutritious start to their day.”

The book is available to download at arlafoods.co.uk and Helen will be hosting a live reading on her Instagram channel on Friday 27th November at 6.00pm.