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NZ Children's Food Awards shortlist announced

NZ Children's Food Awards shortlist announced

A large number of Kiwi parents have nominated breastmilk as a top food in the inaugural New Zealand Children's Food Awards.

In the shortlist embargoed for publication till Thursday 14 August, 6am, breastmilk is up for the Cleanest Greenest Food award, with parents' favourable comments ranging from 'beautiful biodegradable packaging' to 'low production and transportation costs'.

The awards' 12 categories include positive ones like Best Breakfast, and 'thumbs-down' ones like Salty Supreme and Full o' Fat.

McDonald's has emerged as the leading contender in the Badvertising Banter Award, for manipulative advertising of food aimed at children, resulting in children pestering parents to buy it. Parents were angry at the Sarah Ulmer ads portraying McDonald's as a healthy food, and many were deeply troubled by McDonald's' 'infiltration' into schools and pre-schools.

Organiser and Green MP Sue Kedgley, and the judging panel, are challenging manufacturers unfavourably represented in the awards to reformulate their products to reduce high salt, sugar and fat content.

"By these awards, parents are sending a clear message to manufacturers about what foods they regard as healthy and unhealthy for children. If we are serious about improving the health of New Zealanders, food companies must take responsibility for their products and commit to providing healthy options for children."

The shortlist follows the recent report from the Health Ministry and Auckland University estimating that 11,000 New Zealanders die needlessly every year from the effects of poor nutrition and lack of exercise.

More than 100 parents around the country sent in their nominations for the New Zealand Children's Food Awards. The top nominations in each category were analysed by Otago University nutrition graduate Rebecca Martin for fat, salt and sugar content, based on label information. Dietitian Sarah Crawford, a member of the judging panel, then prepared a shortlist for each category, in consultation with the rest of the judging panel.

The public now have till October 7 to vote for the overall winners in each category, which will be announced at an awards ceremony mid-October [with the judging panel having the final say]. Parents can vote from Thursday 14 August, 6am at:

Go to: for a nutritional and related breakdowns of the shorlisted finalists in the NZ Children's Food Awards

New Zealand Children's Food Awards: Shortlist

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. Finalists: Kellogg's LCM's, Nutella, Kellogg's Froot Loops

Full O'Fat: The award for a children's snack food that's high in fat, low in goodness and could encourage obesity. Finalists: Pringles chips, Eta Ripples spring onion chips, McDonald's fries

Salty Supreme: For a food that contains high levels of salt. Finalists: Eta Munchos, Eta multipak chips (average of pack: Ripples, Munchos and Cruncheese), Maggi Two Minute Noodles chicken flavour

Chemical Cocktail: For a children's drink that's full of sugar, colour and flavourings. Finalists: Coca-Cola, Fanta, Hansells Thriftee cordial

Label Fables: A product boasting things it clearly isn't e.g. claiming to be healthy, low in sugar or pure. Finalists: Kellogg's LCM's, Starburst 'Fruitfuls'

Nutritionless Nightmare: For the worst breakfast or lunchbox food aimed at children. Finalists: Bluebird DunkaRoos, Kellogg's Froot Loops, Kellogg's Coco Pops

GE Genie: For products marketed at children that may contain unlabelled GE ingredients. Finalists: Nestle's Milo, Inghams Chicken Nuggets, Kellogg's Corn Flakes * Important note: These companies comply with New Zealand's GE labelling laws but don't yet guarantee that they avoid all GE crop-derived ingredients and animal feed.

Badvertising Banter: The award for manipulative advertising of food aimed at children resulting in your child pestering you to buy it. Finalists: McDonald's Sarah Ulmer Adverts, McDonald's school advertising, APN Educational Media (Burger King and PoppaJacks in schools)

Best Breakfast: Something that makes you feel your child is leaving home with a well-filled engine. Finalists: Harraways Rolled Oats Porridge, Sanitarium Weet-Bix, Hubbards Yours Fruitfully Toasted Muesli

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

Cleanest Greenest Food: The ultimate in accolades. Something healthy and locally made that your child loves to eat. Finalists: Breastmilk, organic fruit, organic vegetables

Terrific Tuckshop Award: For a school with a healthy eating policy. Finalists: Numerous

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