Investing in children

ICA works hard to spread information on health issues, especially through its stores. “Buddy with your Body – 5 a Day” is a children’s health initiative that ICA Sweden has been running for many years. The aim is to encourage children to eat a healthy diet, to exercise and feel good. This was the thirteenth year that teachers and pupils in years 2 and 5 have been invited to participate. Since 2001 more than 850,000 year 2 and year 5 students have taken part in “Buddy with your Body”. The class gets to visit the fruit and vegetable section of an ICA store, where they are invited to taste fruits and vegetables during a fun, colourful lesson. The teaching material, which is published on ICA.se, has been revised for 2013 and since 2011 has also included environmental and climate perspectives for students in year 5. The material includes experiments and exercises, teaching notes linked to the curriculum, classroom posters and information for parents. A similar project in the Baltic countries, “Supervaikai”, is teaching children the importance of eating right and exercising.

Another activity for children aged 3–12 is the “Paprica Club”, promoted at all Swedish ICA Kvantum stores. Its aim is to interest kids in fruits and vegetables. The children get a specially produced magazine with fruit and vegetable ideas and are treated to fruit in the stores. During the year the “Paprica Club” also launched an app with recipes and games linked to fruits and vegetables.

During the year Rimi Baltic in Estonia continued its work on the health programme “For your health”, which was started in 2012. One element of the programme is “Vitamin Trips” for children in Rimi stores, during which preschool children and schoolchildren have an hour-long study visit to a fruit and vegetable section. More than 2,000 children have already enjoyed “Vitamin Trips”.

In Latvia, Rimi Baltic’s special health chef Normunds Baranovskis continued the “School Journey” project during the year. This is part of the “Aikāgaršo” health project and aims to increase understanding of a balanced diet and better eating habits. He met nearly 400 students from years 3 to 8 at 23 schools around the country to teach them how to prepare healthy food. All the students’ recipes have been published in a digital cookbook on Rimi’s website. In Lithuania, Rimi organised “Superkids” for the third consecutive year, this year encouraging parents to involve their children in cooking.