Children’s health and inclusion


Food security plays a fundamental role in children’s health, with access to food considered essential to a child’s development as it can impact a child’s behaviour, attention span, and overall health. The question of UPFs and HFSS food exposure is particularly dire as it is deemed to be higher in disadvantaged areas – notably due to pricing, marketing, and unhealthy stores’ strategic locations. Children from disadvantaged families are the first consumers of these foods due to their low price and lack of knowledge on the topic, which increases socio-health inequalities in the EU.

As underlined by the European Strategy on the Rights of the Child, basic information on food, nutrition, obesity prevention, physical activity should be accessible to all children. The rights of the most vulnerable children particularly ought to be safeguarded.

As part of its Food4Inclusion Project, SAFE actively strives to protect children from growing up in unhealthy food environments, by developing workshops and food literacy trainings on food labelling, food additives, maximum daily intakes, and their subsequent health effects (e.g., sugar overconsumption).

At the EU level, SAFE is actively working alongside its members and other CSOs to:

  • Prevent exposure to unhealthy food marketing, which affects what children eat and ultimately, their health and well-being.
  • Support access to healthy and sustainable diets via public procurement, by notably working towards the optimisation of European programmes such as the EU School Scheme on fruit, vegetables and milk.
  • Call for enhanced and harmonised nutrition education at the EU level via a sharing of best practices and recommendations in the European Union.

Find our work on the topic here:

SAFE’s position paper on the review of the EU School Scheme on fruit, vegetables and milk (July 2022)

Joint Call to Action – Towards a childhood free from unhealthy food marketing (2022)

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