School canteens under review: what do Spanish parents think about their food policies


Plátano de Canarias revealed yesterday, in a call to the media, the main conclusions of the study Parents' assessment of school feeding in Spain from which it is extracted that 94% of parents in Spain believe that food in school canteens needs to improve.

Carried out by Kantar on a significant sample of 2,000 parents in Spain, this study shows the three critical points of Spanish schools. These are the low presence of seasonal vegetables and fruits with good flavor (56%), the high content of fatty ingredients (46%) and also of sugars (40%). Likewise, a high percentage of parents (90%) consider that their children should eat more pieces of fruit in the school cafeteria.

Fried and processed foods beat fruits and vegetables in the school canteen in these spaces. "There are worrying risk factors for childhood overweight and obesity in Spain, much higher than in neighboring countries. In addition, this coincides with a gradual decrease in the consumption of fruits, although not of bananas. 40% of children They eat in school canteens, which makes them a fundamental pillar in the creation of habits ", explained the Marketing Director of Plátano de Canarias, Sergio Cáceres.

Canarian banana

Plátano de Canarias, as defenders of healthy eating, wanted to deepen the perception and appreciation of parents in relation to the feeding of their children in schools. These are a fundamental support for parents in the construction of eating habits for the little ones.

Poor and low-quality information on school menus

An important part of Spanish parents is not fully aware of the feeding of their children in the school cafeteria. 88% of parents confirm that the dining rooms of their children's schools include a list of the dishes they are going to eat each day.However, far fewer receive information about the quality or origin of the ingredients in their dishes or the amounts of each serving that their children eat: a surprising 24%.

However, "despite their dissatisfaction with food, it is striking that only 12% of parents value their children's school based on the school dining room and 38% admit that it is a criterion that does not influence at all their decision, ”Cáceres highlights.

Despite the low percentage of menus with information on the quality or origin of food, this is the most important requirement that a school cafeteria must have for most parents, with 42%; closely followed by the variety of the menu, with 37%. At a distance are factors such as the price of the dining room (6%), having a staff to help children eat all the food, the taste of food and the timing of meals (all three with 5%).

According to Carlos Ríos, creator of the movement realfooding and defender of a lifestyle based on eating real food, "to combat the epidemic of ultra-processed foods, it is essential that the school cafeteria prepare healthy food in an appetizing and attractive way."

Eating good-tasting fruits helps children get in the habit of including them in their daily lives, this is something that most parents in the study agree. Many of them would be willing to pay a little more for the school menu on the condition that their children eat better-tasting and quality fruits at school.

Sergio Cáceres and Carlos Ríos in a moment of the act

The severity, forcefulness and generality of the results that the study shows throughout the country, from Plátano de Canarias a social awareness campaign has been launched together with an initiative on in favor of a regulation in all the Autonomous Communities that de more prominence to the work of schools in the acquisition of healthy habits of young people and to ensure quality and local products in school canteens.

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