Traffic Light Labelling
Creating healthier food habits for children
Good food habits are an essential skill that children should learn. Studies show that the food and drinks a child consumes, directly impacts both their academic scores whilst at school and, in the longer term, their level of productivity and health as adults. Parents have an important responsibility to teach their children good food habits.
One of the key challenge’s parents have, in teaching good food habits, is helping their children (and themselves) learn what is healthy food and what is not, and then to make healthier food choices a habit.
Vircle works with it's school canteen partners to profile nutrition value of meals using an internationally recognized model called the Traffic Light Labelling (a modified nutri-score) of school meals to help parents and children identify how healthy the food options at school are. The labelling is based on the Ministry of Health’s Recommended
Nutrition Intake (RNI) guidelines.
At a basic level, the Vircle Traffic Light Labels represent how healthy food is, where:
Green represents healthy food and drink, that children should consume plenty of;
Amber represents food that should be eaten in moderation;
Red represents food that is high in nutrients such as salt, sugar and saturated fat. Red food should only be eaten very infrequently, if at all.
When Vircle is introduced into a school, we work with the school canteen to score and Traffic Light Label the food.
While the concept of labelling meal nutrition scoring is new in Malaysia, we at Vircle continue to educate canteen operators on food labeling through our partner dieticians and nutritionist at University Kebangsaan Malaysia (UKM) and International Medical University (IMU). Slowly but surely they are opening up to profiling food and in phases adopt a more healthy canteen approach to meal labelling.
If your child has a tendency to consumer more red light foods, you may want to entice them with rewards to start making healthier choices.