safefood research show parents are encouraging children to eat more fruit and vegetables

17 September, 2007. New research conducted by safefood has revealed that 8 in ten (88%) parents intend to encourage their children to eat more fruit and vegetables as a result of the safefood ‘Superfoods’ TV advertising campaign* while 7 in ten (76%) parents stated they would try to eat more fruit and vegetables themselves, from now on.

Dr. Cliodhna Foley Nolan, safefood said, “Our research has shown that parents are becoming engaged about healthy eating and that the message is getting through to them to encourage their children to eat healthier foods. Getting children to eat leaner meat, increase their intake of fruit and vegetables and choose wholegrains, all of which are everyday foods that are easy to access, can be a challenge for parents which is why this new phase of the ‘Superfoods’ campaign is targeting children directly, in a fun and colourful comic format they will enjoy.

safefood launched the third phase of its ‘Superfoods’ campaign earlier today, Monday, 17 September. The campaign is designed to reinforce the benefits of eating everyday foods and this phase will communicate with parents and children while they are in the supermarket and choosing their food. An in-store team will feature a qualified nutritionist to provide practical advice for parents on healthy eating for children and a life-size ‘Superfood’ character. As well as advice, the team will be distributing free comics for children and long-life shopping bags for parents carrying the ‘Superfood’ messages. The activity will take place in selected supermarkets on the island of Ireland over a four week period from 19th September 2007.

“We want to make it easier for parents to include lean meat, fruit, vegetables and wholegrains in their child’s diet, by providing them with tools that will engage and appeal to their children. Only 20% of adults** on the island of Ireland eat their recommended ‘five a day’, and consumption by children is particularly low. safefood qualified nutritionists will be on hand in the participating stores to advise parents on any questions they may have about everyday ‘Superfoods’ or including them in their child’s diet”, added Dr. Foley-Nolan. 

The innovative comic targets children aged 6-9, and brings the ‘Superfoods’ characters from the TV advertising campaign to life in a series of stories appealing to young children. The comic entitled ‘Adventures with Superfoods’, contains games, cartoons, stickers and poster as well as lots of tips for parents on how to incorporate ‘Superfoods’ into their child’s diet.

The launch of the in-store activity coincides with the launch of a new section on the safefood website, www.safefood.eu. Titled the ‘Superfoods HQ’, this features all the ‘Superfoods’ characters from the TV advertising campaign living together in the same house, with interactive games and dowloads, fun food facts and a ‘Lunchbox Menu Generator’ which demonstrates how easily the ‘Superfoods’ can be part of a child’s lunchbox. The ‘Superfoods’ will also be featured in another round of TV advertising during the in-store and online activity.

Ends

For more information

Kate Slattery or Niamh Burdett    
WHPR        
Tel: 01 6690030      
086 3873083(Kate)

Fiona Gilligan
safefood
Tel: 01 4480600

* Millward Brown IMS Omnibus Research August 2007
**North/South Ireland Food Consumption Survey Irish Universities Nutrition Alliance Summary Report 2001.

Editor’s notes

Some examples of ‘Superfoods’

Wholegrain foods such as whole grain bread, jacket potatoes, brown rice and oatmeal. These provide fibre for a healthy gut and slow down the release of energy from foods.

All fruit and vegetables. These help to ensure that we get all the vitamins and minerals we need for good health. They also provide antioxidant nutrients to enhance natural defenses as well as soluble and insoluble fibre.

Lean meat. Meat is one of the main sources of saturated fat in our diets and processed meat is one of the main sources of salt. Choosing leaner cuts of red meat, as well as poultry and fish can reduce intakes of saturated fat and salt on the island and help maintain the population’s heart health.

On the island of Ireland the mean saturated fat intake is 14% of energy compared to the recommended intake of 11% of energy or less.

Salt intakes are in the region of 10 grams per day compared to the recommended intake of 6 grams or less per day.