The local unit of German-owned discount supermarket chain Lidl has announced the start of a campaign to combat the unhealthy snacking habits of elementary school pupils by calling attention to the importance of healthy foods, while informing parents as well.
According to Lidlʼs recent survey, more than half of elementary school-aged children tend to snack every week, with candies and salty snacks the most popular options.
To combat the trends, Lidl has launched its 2018 "Egészségesen az iskolapadban!" ("Healthy at the school desk") information campaign. The program, supported by the Hungarian Dietetic Association (MDOSZ), revolves around showing how healthy alternatives in snacking are also available for children.
According to Lidlʼs research, which involved nearly 2,000 parents, most kids prefer salty snacks such as crisps (26%), followed by chocolate and candies (21%), and pastries and ice cream (18%). However, although 19% of children prefer fruit, only 6% name vegetables as their favorite snacks.
"Children mostly like sweet and salty snacks, which they sometimes consume instead of meals," says Jolán Kubányi, president of MDOSZ. "In ideal cases, daily sugar intake cannot exceed 10% of the energy intake. However, examinations in Hungary show that sometimes this can exceed 13% among 4-10 year olds, which represents a risk factor for overweightness and obesity."
Lidl will also provide parents with healthy snack ideas and recipes. Furthermore, the company has announced a tender with a total of HUF 1 million in rewards, calling on educational institutions to plan healthy snacks. Elementary schools may enter the competition with a creative snack designed by teachers and students until October 25.
"We hope that with the launch of the program, we can keep on helping to raise awareness of healthy alternatives among Hungarian families," says Judit Tőzsér, corporate communications director at Lidl Hungary.