Nederlands | English

healthy food | criteria | basket | cost

Healthy food - basket

Within the various groups comprising the active food triangle, a distinction is made between preferential and alternative products. A choice is made for the inclusion in the food basket of both types of products. As a rule, the ratio applied between preferential and alternative products was 5 to 2 (weekly basis). The inclusion of both types of product was motivated by the requirement of an adequate nutritional value on the one hand and the need for sufficient variation within the basket on the other.

As we wish to compose a balanced food basket for a minimum budget, as a rule, the cheapest option is selected from the available preferential products. One example is the choice for tap water from the preferential options (carbonated water, still water) within the group “water”. This does not however imply that just a single preferential product is included per group. Within the group “fruit”, for example, a choice is made for a range of cheap (often seasonal) fruits. As regards the alternative products, here we took account of the greatest possible
variation (given the constraints of a minimum budget). For this reason, the alternative products are equally represented within the basket, invariably in accordance with the proportion of 2/7. For example, within the group “water”, the following alternative products are included in equal amounts: coffee, tea and light soft drinks; the total content in alternative products amounts to two-sevenths.

The amounts required from the various groups and for the different ages considered were based on prescriptions by the Flemish Institute for Health Promotion (Nationaal Voedings- en Gezondheidsplan voor België, 2005). We also relied on the nutritional objectives laid down in Belgium’s National Food and Health Plan. With a view to the acceptability of the budget standard to individuals on a low income, we took account of certain remarks in the focus groups insofar as they were not incompatible with existing recommendations. We consecutively compiled food baskets for adult women, adult men, toddlers (1-3 years), preschoolers (3-6 years), primary school age children (6-12 years) and adolescents (12-18 years). By adding up per household type, while taking due account of the required quantity and quality, the marketing expert was able to find the appropriate packaging at the lowest
possible price. As it is highly impractical to frequent different shops for regular purchases such as food, a choice was made for combined purchases from a single supermarket chain (cf. supra).


K.H.Kempen Vlaamse overheid CSB ULG