Gezonde Smikkelweken 2023: Children's health movement in Rotterdam

Gezonde Smikkelweken 2023: Children's health movement in Rotterdam

ROTTERDAM, 17 July 2023 – Rotterdam celebrates the start of the third edition of the Gezonde Smikkelweken (Healthy Snack Weeks), a playful journey to healthier eating habits for children, organised by the Spoony Foundation. More than doubling the number of participants from last year, an impressive 120,000 children will participate this year across the Netherlands.

An unprecedented turnout for the Healthy Snack Weeks

In the span of a year, the number of participants in the Healthy Snack Weeks has seen a remarkable increase. This year, the programme includes 1,100 out-of-school care locations (buitenschoolse opvang-locaties, or bso's), over 200 primary schools, and ten daycare centres (kinderdagverblijven, or kdv's). The national kick-off event will be held at Kiddoozz childcare bso Bevertuin in Rotterdam and will be inaugurated by Klokhuis presenter and local Rotterdammer, Nizar El Manouzi.

The Healthy Snack Weeks initiative is backed by the Spoony Foundation and enabled through the support of the government programme 'Jong Leren Eten' and several non-profit partners.

Spoony's founder, Phaedra Mensen, shared her concerns regarding children's diets. “In the Netherlands, 85% of children aged between 4 to 12 years consume insufficient vegetables. It is our mission to teach all children healthy eating habits. The Healthy Snack Weeks provide a tool to help them, by involving an entire system—children, parents, caregivers and schools.”

The national kick-off in Rotterdam

The launch of the Healthy Snack Weeks aligns with the second week of the summer holidays, across nearly 1,100 bso locations in the Netherlands. Within the South Holland province alone, over 120 bso's and roughly 10,500 children are participating. The kick-off will take place at the Kiddoozz childcare bso Bevertuin in Rotterdam. Nizar El Manouzi will host a healthy vegetable challenge with the Kiddoozz children to initiate the Healthy Snack Weeks. Like other participating bso's, Bevertuin will receive delightful packages brimming with fresh vegetables, games, and activities.

Expansion to primary schools and daycare centres

For the first time, schools and daycare centres will also be involved. Collaborating with the Goeie Grutten Foundation, a Healthy Snack Weeks lesson package has been developed specifically for children in grades four to seven. This will place the focus on education around healthy and sustainable food in over 200 primary schools. The youngest participants, children aged between one and four, will also be introduced to the Healthy Snack Weeks Mini, instilling an interest in healthy food from a young age.

Mensen expressed her delight at the increased participation. “Seeing so many children involved this year allows us to create even greater impact.”

Participate from home

All participating children will receive a cook-and-play book containing recipes, food games and challenges for use at home. Non-participating children can join in through the online platform. By taking part in the challenges, they stand a chance to win one of a hundred prizes. Participation will be open until 3 September 2023 through the official website.

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