Dubai hypermarkets promote healthy eating for children
Until July 31, families and children can expect special offers, giveaways and samples of healthy food across hypermarkets
Dubai - It comes ahead of the launch of new nutrition guidelines that will ban school canteens from selling junk food.
Hypermarkets officially started competing in a contest to promote healthy eating for children through different sets of activities.
Until July 31, families and children can expect special offers, giveaways and samples of healthy food across hypermarkets, along with tips on how to pack a healthy lunchbox for school.
The activity is part of the Dubai Municipality's Best Hypermarket Awards - themed 'Back to School' - to tackle child obesity and increase nutrition in children.
It comes ahead of the launch of new nutrition guidelines that will ban school canteens from selling junk food, starting from the next academic year in September.
Healthy eating will be promoted among children through colourful videos, interactive sessions and six 'Nutrition Characters', introduced by the municipality to demonstrate different food groups in a story-telling manner. The young banana, broccoli, yogurt, almond, wheat and fish represent the nutritional power of each food group.
"The aim is to help children incorporate healthy eating through these fun characters that represent food heroes," said Shugufta M. Zubair, senior food safety awareness support officer at Dubai Municipality. "Hypermarkets are the first point of food contact for families. Whatever children eat starts from the stores, and after the high child obesity rates noted across the region, we figured it is best to guide parents and children on leading a healthy school life," said Zubair.
In August, the food safety dep-artment will reward hypermarkets based on the creativity of their messages and their outreach to residents. The first phase of the campaign was launched in June and focused on educating customers about safe food storage practices. The second phase focuses on healthy eating under the theme 'Back to School', focusing on children.
Eight out of 21 branches of Choithrams in Dubai will display healthy eating messages through leaflets and video screens. The nutrition characters will be introduced through shelf talkers and roll-ups. The stores will also have giveaways of healthy food items.
Customers will be introduced to reading nutrition labels, mindful snacking and selecting the right beverages for children. Interactive games for children will explain how to read food labels and the importance of choosing healthy food items.
"Besides promoting health tips on social media, we will feature a contest for the 'Best Tip for Healthy Eating Habits for Kids' on Twitter," said Smitha Vijay, quality, health, safety, environment (QHSE) operations manager at Choithrams.
Meanwhile, staff and cashier members at Lulu Group will wear shirts and caps that display tips on healthy eating throughout the campaign. The big LED screens will display videos and tips on adopting a healthy school lifestyle, while cutouts of the nutrition characters will decorate the supermarkets.
The campaign will see special offers and giveaways to children and families with different cooking competitions and interactive games for kids. The hypermarket will add its Drink Water Summer Programme to educate customers on importance of drinking water.
Seven outlets of Aswaaq hypermarkets will email their loyal customers about the campaign, listing tips on healthy eating options for their children.
The nutrition tips will be posted on their social media and the hypermarket branches will display colourful, animated videos on mindful eating habits in schools for children through the "nutrition characters." Healthy food samples and brochures will also be distributed among customers.