Free fruit and vegetables could be available to schools in the EU in a bid to encourage healthy eating for children.
It’s been estimated that 22 million children in the EU are overweight. Over five million of these are obese and this figure is expected to rise by 400,000 each year.
“Too many of our children eat far too little fruit and vegetables and often don’t appreciate how delicious they are.”
The European Commission proposal, costing £90 million per year, would pay for the purchase and distribution of fresh fruit and vegetables to schools.
As well as providing free fruit and vegetables the School Fruit Scheme will also need participating member states to organise national strategies, which in turn will include educational and awareness-raising initiatives.
Mariann Fischer Boel, commissioner for agriculture and rural development, said “Giving kids good habits at an early age is crucial as they will carry these into later life,” she added.
“Too many of our children eat far too little fruit and vegetables and often don’t appreciate how delicious they are. You only have to walk down any high street in Europe to see the extent of the problems we face with overweight kids. Let’s do something about it.”
The proposal will now be sent to the European Parliament for consideration.