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Parents get to vote on food frights

Parents get to vote on food frights

Parents will have the chance to nominate the best and worst children's foods, at the New Zealand Children's Food Awards, being launched by Green MP Sue Kedgley on Monday 26 May at 12 noon.

A panel of judges, who will choose from the parents' nominations, will join Ms Kedgley at the launch, along with a bevy of healthy children and healthy fresh food.

They include celebrities Allison Roe (former marathon runner) and Alannah Currie (leader of the GE-Free group, Mothers Against Genetic Engineering). Other judges include Judith Stanley-Dyer (Parents Centre), Matire Glover (Maori Women's Welfare League), Louise Simms (youth representative), and Jacky Pearson (Safe Food Campaign).

Ms Kedgley said the awards were aimed at helping to turn the tide of the child obesity epidemic; a health danger the World Health Organisation says is as serious as smoking.

"We are never going to overcome the child obesity epidemic until we improve the food on offer for children. Too much of the food marketed at children is excessively coloured, flavoured and overloaded with fat, sugar and salt," Ms Kedgley said.

"The Children's Food Awards will draw attention to the poor quality of food marketed at children, while celebrating the healthy alternatives. We hope the awards will encourage companies to listen to what parents want for their children, and to produce healthier, more nutritious foods in response."

Parents will have till 1 August to nominate the best and worst children's foods on offer. Categories include "Sickly Sweet", "Full o' Fat" and "Salty Supreme". Positive awards include "Best Breakfast" and "Cleanest Greenest Food".

Green Party New Zealand Childen's Food Award Categories

Sickly Sweet The award for a food or drink aimed at children that's so full of sugar it should come with warnings for tooth decay and obesity.

Full o' Fat The award for a children's snack food that's high in fat, low in goodness and has an obvious link to obesity.

Salty Supreme For a food that contains well over the level of salt your child should be consuming.

Funky Munch The award for the healthiest, most appealing item in a child's lunchbox. Something that's low in fat, sugar and salt.

Label Fables A product boasting things it clearly isn't: nutritious, healthy, low in sugar or pure.

Chemical Cocktail For a children's drink that's so full of sugar, colour and flavourings, you'd rather it went down the drain than into your child.

'Badvertising' Banter The award for the worst, most irresponsible advertising aimed at children that promotes unhealthy food in a cool way, resulting in your child pestering you to buy it.

Nutritionless Nightmare For the worst breakfast or lunchbox food aimed at children. The last thing you'd want to see your child eating.

GE Genie For products marketed at children that are likely to contain unlabelled GE ingredients.

Best Breakfast For the breakfast that least resembles a dessert. Something that makes you feel your child is leaving home with a well-filled engine, ready to tackle their day.

Cleanest Greenest Food The ultimate in accolades - a food product carrying no 'label fables' or 'badvertising'. Something healthy and locally made with the least wasteful packaging - but that your child still loves to eat.

Terrific Tuckshop Award For a school with a policy that promotes healthy eating. We've heard of schools where softdrink vending machines have been banned, and chocolate and chips replaced with healthy options. If you know of a school that's taken a stance against unhealthy eating, we want to know!

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