I commend the Israeli Health Minister in all of his efforts, many reported in Hamodia, to improve the diets in Israel and, in particular, the foods regularly fed to children. A reduction in sugar and calories has a good chance of, over time, limiting the level of childhood obesity here in Israel.
This week, days before Chanukah, he has pointed out that standard sufganiyot have a large amount of calories and oil — thus the recommendation that they not be part of regular Chanukah celebrations. I know of some families that for years have cut the standard sufganiyot into halves or quarters, but this takes away some of the fun for the children. I have seen several bakeries which offer smaller sufganiyot, perhaps one-quarter the normal size, but without jelly or other toppings. My suggestion would be that at least one bakery take this issue seriously and offer sufganiyot in this smaller size, but with jelly or other toppings as is standard. Perhaps these smaller sufganiyot could be labeled as “smaller, with less calories and less oil.” My guess is that this suggestion, with appropriate marketing, would catch on quickly and markedly reduce the oil and calories consumed in this manner. The minister of health might even consider this acceptable, since it is only for a few days a year.
Meyer Lifschitz, MD, Yerushalayim