Canadian parents out to lunch about kids’ at school eating habits
A recent study for the Hellmann’s brand at Unilever Canada revealed that parents may not be as aware of their kid’s at-school eating habits as they might think.
In fact, while more than two thirds (72%) of Canadian parents who were polled believe that their children do not throw away lunch items, almost a third (31%) of Canadian children polled admit they throw out some of their lunch items, and nearly half (46%) report that they regularly trade some of their lunch items with friends.
What’s a parent to do to ensure that what’s packed actually gets eaten?
According to the national survey, it’s all about food awareness. In fact, children who learn about food are significantly less likely (67%) to throw out their lunch.
“We know that food education matters but we were surprised at how it relates to lunchtime eating behaviours,” said Stephanie Cox, senior brand manager for Hellmann’s at Unilever Canada. “Our survey demonstrates a few of the positive ways food education can change children’s attitudes towards food.”
Canadian parents also believe that food education has a positive impact on their kids’ interest in meal preparation. The survey found that of the 22% of kids who are receiving food education, parents reported that they are very involved in packing their lunch.
Educating kids and families about ways in which they can become more engaged with real food is one of the establishing principles of the Hellmann’s real food grant program. The grant program was founded in 2010 and designed to fund community-led initiatives across the country.
To date, the program has provided over $310,000 of funding to 69 projects in communities across Canada.
“It’s really amazing how easy it is to get kids excited about real food,” says Chuck Hughes, celebrity chef and longtime champion of Hellmann’s Real Food Movement. “We see the way kids connect with food through the programs we fund with Hellmann’s and the result is really powerful. They want to eat it, they get excited about it—it changes their whole perspective.”