By Dror Halavy
YERUSHALAYIM – The Tel Aviv municipality is determined to see its children eat more healthfully and to accomplish that it is changing the menu in schools, kindergartens and after-school programs it funds. Beginning this coming school year, the city will adopt a menu that will stress fresh fruits and vegetables, whole grains and other healthy features, eschewing high fat, high sugar and highly refined foods.
The menu is based on the recently issued recommendations by the World Conference on the Mediterranean Diet that took place in Milan in June. Around the world, 150 cities have committed to provide children with healthier fare based on the recommendations of the conference. The program is actually beginning as a pilot this summer, as children in city-sponsored camps are already receiving the “new” food.
According to recent studies, city officials said, the level of child obesity in some parts of the city – especially in the less wealthy areas in the southern part of Tel Aviv – are very high, with some 40 percent of children in grades one through seven overweight or obese. The new menus, which include items like eggs, cheese, various salads, whole grain pasta and couscous, and other low-fat and less processed items, have been going over “very well” in the camps, say city officials.