Ministry Urges Israeli Kids to Eat More Vegetables

Surveys show that increased fruit and vegetable consumption would come at the expense of less healthy snack foods.

Dreamstime

The Agriculture Ministry has launched a campaign to encourage children to snack on fruits and vegetables between meals.

The advertisements are set to replace a previous campaign that angered many food manufacturers because they warned about the high levels of sugar, oil and salt contained in many packaged foods.

Surveys show that increased fruit and vegetable consumption would come at the expense of less healthy snack foods.

The new campaign is called “half and half,” and encourages consumers to fill half their plate with vegetables and fruits.

The ministry hopes to increase fresh produce consumption and strengthen farmers in the process.

A survey found that most parents – 60% – make no special effort to encourage their children to eat more fruits and vegetables. Six percent of parents feed their children no vegetables at all.

Prof. Zecharia Madar of the Hebrew University Faculty of Agriculture, Food and Environment, recommends unlimited fruit and vegetable consumption, or an “all you can eat” philosophy.

The latest campaign comes as Israelis are making attempts to eat more healthfully. Sales of processed meats and packaged salads have decreased in the past few months over health concerns, and food sales were down in general during the first half of the year.