Cookery lessons should return to the school curriculum to combat children's diet of junk food and fizzy drinks at home, concludes the Scolarest Healthy Eating Report 2005.
The survey of 800 primary school pupils found snacks remained more popular among youngsters than sitting down to a freshly cooked meal.
Nearly half (49%) of the seven- to 14-year-old pupils consumed a fizzy drink each day, while 46% tucked into chocolate, cake, sweets and biscuits daily. And more than one-third (38%) made their own breakfast or evening meal unsupervised every day.
The findings also showed that a quarter of pupils knew nothing about cooking a meal. Tony Sanders, Scolarest managing director for state primary schools, said: "The research highlights the diminishing role the family has in teaching children about food and healthy eating and the increasing need to bring cookery - a basic life skill - back on to the curriculum."