La Comissió Europea reconeix Mollet amb el premi Healthy Lifestyles for Cities 2020
The European Commission recognizes Mollet with the Healthy Lifestyles for Cities 2020 award
The project to promote healthy eating habits organized by the Consell dels Infants de Mollet (CIM) in 2019 has received the second prize awarded by the Directorate General of Health and Food Safety of the European Commission.
The Municipal Children Council 2019 targeted all students from 5th and 6th grade from our city. It aimed to improve children’s capacity to make healthy dietary choices, as well as to stimulate their active democratic participation to contribute to develop a healthier city food system.
The initiative was run by the Municipal Institute of Education with the support of partners from health and food sector as well as other administrations.
Background of the Municipal Children Council
The Municipal Children Council was established in 2007. It consists on promoting the active participation of children when it comes to designing more sustainable and thought-out cities for the people who live there. Their contributions are very valuable and adults should consider them by developing a greater sensitivity towards the relationship between city and child.
To set up an educational and participative environment for our children where they will feel confident to share their points of view, opinions about the things that affect them thus creating a true debate on their quality of life in Mollet del Vallès.
To promote active democratic participation and co-responsibility within our children.
To stimulate children’s capacity to make proposals to legal representatives to improve the quality of life in our city.
To educate politicians and officers to incorporate children proposals to improve city policies and strategies. Furthermore, the city government implements mandatorily several children proposals every year.
How does it work?
MCC project targets all students from 5th and 6th grade from public and private schools in Mollet plus the students form the Public School for People with Disabilities in Mollet. All in all, around 700 students participate actively every year. The board of the MCC consists of 27 members, children between 10 and 11 years old, and are renewed completely every year. The activities and the work scheme of the MCC focus on a specific challenge that the city is facing and changes yearly. The topic can be determined by the children themselves or by the City Council but usually it is decided by consensus.
Participants of the 2019 Edition of the Municipal Children Council
Mollet del Vallès Hospital, Outpatient Center of Can Borrell, Outpatient Center of Can Pantiquet, Health Department of the City Council of Mollet del Vallès
Food related stakeholders
The Consortium of the Agroecological park of Gallecs, The Agroecolological Association of Local producers (18 local producers), The City Indoors Market
Other public administrations (educational online tools)
Council of the Barcelona Province (Diputació de Barcelona), Catalan Government (Generalitat de Catalunya)
2019 edition of the Children Council focuses on the promotion of heatlhy dietary habits
The topic has been determined by consensus and taking into account a double approach:
1 The increase of childrens overweigh and obesity
36.3% of children aged between 6 and 12 are overweighed or obese (39.1% boys and 33.2% girls), according to the Catalan Health Survey (ESCA) 2017-2018. 24.8% are overweighed and 11.5% are obese. Overweight is equally affected by boys and girls (24.5% and 25.2%, respectively), but obesity is more common among boys (14.6%) than among girls (8%). The prevalence of obesity is higher in the disadvantaged social classes.
2The work that schools and the municipality of Mollet del Vallès have carried out during the last years.
City Council of Mollet del Vallès
Our second City Strategic Plan - Mollet 2025 defines Mollet as a healthy and educative city. This long term strategy identifies food as one of the pillars to promote healthy lifestyles in our city.
In 2005, we achieved the protection of 50% of our territory avoiding urban pressure and thus creating the Agro-ecological park of Gallecs. This area of 750 hectares is dedicated to ecological agriculture and has become our beacon to develop our mission, to set up a sustainable food system in the city.
The municipality has also coordinated the work carried out during the preparation of Integrated Action Plan - Agri-Urban focused on food and health. In this context it has been paramount for the city council to incorporate children to the ongoing discussions on food planning leaded by the city food stakeholders by empowering them and stimulating their co-responsibility in our city well-being and quality of life.
Schools have been cooperating with the Agro-ecological park of Gallecs during the last years carrying out visits to local producers and launching an initiative that has had the output to have ecological gardens in all schools of Mollet del Vallès. Furthermore, schools have transformed these school gardens in an educational tool.
Taking into account the above mentioned initiatives, schools and the city council has reached a consensus to dedicate the 2019 Municipal Children Council edition to the promotion of healthy dietary habits.
The goal of the 2019 Municipal Children Council
The initiative targets all students from 5th and 6th grade from our city and aims to improve their capacity to make healthy dietary choices, as well as to stimulate their active democratic participation through which, they contribute to make our city food system more sustainable. Children work closely with city food stakeholders and combine field visits with school work focusing on food education. The community based approach easies individual healthier choices but we also seek to create a strong individual sense of co-responsibility to the quality of life in Mollet.
The 2019 Municipal Children Council in a Nutshell
Active democratic participation and co-responsibility with the city wellbeing
Firstly, all children work side by side with local councilors and civil servants at the city council. They learn about city priorities, challenges, plans and strategies. Then they run for terms in their classes to become the yearly councilors of the Children Council. In 2019, 27 children councilors were elected by their almost 700 classmates in 15 public and private schools. Their mission was to be the bridge between the work at the legal gatherings of the Children Council and the work carried out at schools by their classmates.
The promotion of healthy dietary hàbits
Children Councilors bring topic proposals from schools and, together with city councilors, decide, by consensus, the yearly topic. Despite the fact that the municipality of Mollet transformed the school canteens under its responsibility in 2016 according to the Diet for a Green Planet, children overweight was still increasing in the region, reaching the pick of 35,6 in 2017-18. Taking this into account, it was clear for all Children Council members that we should focus beyond school canteens, offering healthy dietary skills for children and targeting families as well due to the fact that 75% of obese children had obese parents.
Community based project during a school year
The learning process about health dietary habits took place in schools with the support of teachers and experts from the municipality. Furthermore, there were also teaching units that took place during study visits to the food production area of Mollet as well as the city indoors market, city hospital and the community gardens of Can Borrell neighborhood. Local producers, nutritionists and local retailers introduced children to the whole food chain. During the community learning process children had also access to online educational tools offered by regional and national authorities as well as their families’ support answering surveys and engaging in the follow up of the process.
Children contributions to the heathy dietary habits in the city
After the long learning process, Children Councilors were asked to gather proposals from their classmates to contribute to improve healthy dietary habits at city level. Children and legal representatives analyzed and summarized the proposals reaching a consensus list that was presented during the last session of the Council. The proposals aimed to develop more community gardens, to include healthy dietary options in city vending machines, to offer workshops and talks about healthy dietary habits for all citizens and all were included in the City Strategy for Food and Health. As the regulation of the Children Council stablishes, the Local Government must implement the proposals mandatorily.
Plenary Session of the Municipal Children Council (March 2019)
In this document you can find links to several documents that will give you information about previous food related initiatives developed in our city that paved the way for the initiative that we present to the award: Municipal Children for the promotion of healthy dietary habits
Diet for a Green Planet (transformation of public school canteens managed by the municipality)