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Gastronomy
18. October 2017

Children's buffet certification

the first Swiss hotel

Fresh, seasonal, child-friendly: Swiss Holiday Park has created an innovative, balanced catering offer designed to motivate children to automatically eat healthily. For its child-friendly buffet, Swiss Holiday Park was the first hotel in Switzerland to be awarded the "Happy Spoon" quality label.

It's a familiar image that makes nutrition-conscious parents shudder, especially in the all-inclusive hotels of popular tourist resorts: Meter-long buffets dripping with fatty fries, sausages and gigantic hamburgers. There are hardly any decent menus, not to mention the dessert offerings. The kids scoop up more than they can ever eat, shovel mountains of ketchup, chicken nuggets and pizza onto their plates and fill their bellies. The Swiss Holiday Park in Morschach wants to spare parents this sight: The largest holiday and leisure park in Switzerland is the first hotel to offer a children's buffet set up in accordance with the guidelines of the Swiss Society for Nutrition (SGE). The Swiss Holiday Park has now been awarded the "Happy Spoon" label for its balanced and child-friendly buffet.

No sweet drinks and small dessert portions

"We have noticed that the healthy nutrition of children is also a growing need of parents during their holidays. As an environmentally conscious and sustainable family hotel, we must and want to take responsibility here," says Walter Trösch, owner and delegate of the Board of Directors of the Swiss Holiday Park on the idea of the new children's buffet. "You can't force the children, of course, but you can design the buffet in terms of what's on offer and the presentation in such a way that they voluntarily opt for a healthy and balanced diet." The children's catering at Swiss Holiday Park has been designed according to the current guidelines for healthy eating of the SBU. For example, no sweet drinks are offered and mixed and palm fats are also avoided. The food on offer is always fresh, regional and seasonal and is prepared in a way that is suitable for children.

Unconsciously to more vegetable and fruit consumption

When designing the new children's buffet, the Swiss Holiday Park relied on the input of Bernese nutritionist Beatrice Conrad Frey and the results of Patrik Zurlinden's study. In it, the "Nutrition and Dietetics" student at the Bern University of Applied Sciences investigates the influence of "nudging" on children's vegetable consumption. "Nudging" means changing and adapting the decision-making environment to enable a voluntary healthier choice. Neither is the child forbidden to eat unhealthy, nor is he or she forced to eat anything. "The offer is presented in such a way that child-friendly, healthy choices become natural," explains Beatrice Conrad Frey, adding: "The use of playful images, for example, and an increased offer, encourage vegetable and fruit consumption by up to 25 percent."

A buffet for young and old

The Swiss Holiday Park is therefore planning an expansion of the existing buffet, which should be completed in spring 2018. The composition of the offer takes children of all ages into account: "Teenagers can also benefit from the buffet and don't have to be embarrassed about taking from the "baby buffet"," says Walter Trösch and smiles. The Aargau Nutritional Advisory Service now checks twice a year whether the children's buffet at the Swiss Holiday Park continues to be "Happy Spoon" worthy.