Latvia to promote healthy snacks in schools

As a response to concerns over children’s consumption of “unhealthy foods”, Latvia will ban their sale in schools later this year.

The Latvian government voted on 23 August 2006 to ban the sale in kindergartens and schools of food, drinks and snacks containing artificial additives  such as colouring and flavouring agents, preservatives, amino-acids and caffeine. 

The country’s health ministry is concerned about the health implications of children’s regular consumption of food with artificial additives. “Artificial colorings and flavorings can result in allergic reactions, and young children are more sensitive to chemicals,” the health ministry said in a statement, underlining that EU member states have the right to ban or restrict the sale of food and beverages containing certain artificial agents.

Food containing excessive levels of salt will also be banned. The prohibited products will be replaced with “healthy alternatives” such as dried fruit, unsalted nuts, unsweetened fruit juice, wholegrain snacks, mineral water and milk.

The ban will come into force on 1 November 2006. 

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