Spain: A million heads of broccoli to promote consumption among children

Promoting the nutritional and gastronomic qualities of broccoli among consumers, especially children, and raising awareness about its health properties are the objectives behind the campaign launched by the non-profit association +Brócoli. As part of this initiative, one million heads of broccoli will be marketed with a special label in about 10,000 stores of 20 supermarket chains.

The news was announced last week during a round table on child nutrition and cooking with broccoli, moderated by journalist Carolina Ferre, with the participation of experts in health, nutrition and gastronomy. Javier Bernabéu, secretary of +Brócoli, stressed the importance of placing the focus on children, because of the multiple benefits that this product has for their physical and intellectual development.

Nutritionist Manuel Moñino highlighted the need to take at least five portions of fruits and vegetables a day to help prevent chronic diseases and hypertension. "Although Spain is already one of the main consumers of these products, currently we only consume about 390 grams per person per day, well below the 600 grams recommended by nutritionists," said Moñino, who warned that only half of children younger than 3 years old consume fruits and vegetables, while in the case of those over that age, the percentage drops to 40%.

For her part, Dr Rumyana Ivanova, deputy paediatrician at IMED Valencia and specialised in paediatric endocrinology, added that the lack of intake of these healthy foods can lead to obesity, diabetes and premature hypertension in children. "It is important to teach children at home that fruits and vegetables taste good, so that they will accept them."

Both specialists stressed that broccoli is rich in fibre, vitamin C, D and K, folic acid, omega-3 and potassium.

Bárbara Amorós, former contestant of the television program Top Chef, encouraged fathers and mothers to use fruits and vegetables in smoothies or salads for breakfast. Broccoli can also be served steamed, cooked in tempura, with scrambled eggs, in fajitas or cooked with cream so that it is tasty, but no nutrients are lost.

According to data from +Brócoli, Spain consumes approximately 65,000 tonnes of broccoli a year; a figure that the entity wants to continue improving with initiatives such as this campaign or similar ones.

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