In 2012 EUFIC launched www.coolfoodplanet.org, a new and exciting educational website for children, to help them learn about health, nutrition and food safety in a way that is engaging and fun.
What is Cool Food Planet?
With the overall aim of emphasising healthy lifestyle choices, Cool Food Planet uses customisable cartoon characters to let children aged 6-12 years explore a wide range of learning tools and interactive games. The language is simple, clear and includes useful terms on food and nutrition that children can learn, particularly when playing alongside parents and teachers. There are two age-appropriate portals, for 6-8 years and 9-12 years. Cool Food Planet is currently available in English and French, and thanks to cooperation with the Department of Food Science and Technology at the Agricultural University of Athens, Greek will be the next language. EUFIC welcomes proposals from other partners to expand to more languages.
Upon entering www.coolfoodplanet.org, children are asked by 'World Leaders' “to go on a mission to Cool Food Planet to discover all there is to know about tasty, healthy, fun food!” Children can download a ‘Mission Card’ that encourages them to explore five destinations, each revealing a ‘secret food’ that further motivates their journey to learn and report back to ‘World Food Leaders’. Adults can follow children’s progress against the learning areas. While playing Cool Food Planet on-line, children and adults are also encouraged to choose activities they can engage in off-line, in the classroom or at home, outside, in the playground, or at the supermarket.
Why is Cool Food Planet important?
Educating children about healthy lifestyles including safe and balanced diets as well as physical activity is one of the most important steps towards good health and helping children to grow to their potential. For example, not getting the energy balance right by consuming more calories than are expended can lead to excess body weight. According to the regional office for Europe of the World Health Organization (WHO), overweight and obesity in children and young people are major risk factors for chronic disease and are associated with an increased risk of adult obesity and premature mortality.1 Childhood overweight and obesity have reached epidemic proportions in most industrialised countries, with the European Association for the Study of Obesity reporting that approximately 60% of adults and 20% of school-age children in the EU are overweight or obese.2
Find out what nutritionists, parents, officials and children have to say about Cool Food Planet through the Cool Food Planet Facebook page for adults.
- WHO Europe (2009). Prevalence of overweight and obesity in children and adolescents. Fact sheet 2.3 Code: RPG2_Hous_E2. http://www.euro.who.int/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/96980/2.3.-Prevalence-of-overweight-and-obesity-EDITED_layouted_V3.pdf
- European Association for the Study of Obesity website, Quick Facts section: http://www.easo.org/quick-facts