Innovations in the field of nutrition of children educational institutions

Date

2018 05 11

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According to Aurelijus Veryga, these innovations on organizing nutrition in pre-school education, general education schools and children social care institutions have been improved taking into account new knowledge of nutritional science, the provisions of the World Health Organization (WHO) and EU health policy. As well as suggestions from parents, municipalities, food manufacturers and members of the working group on nutrition for children.

According to the new order, children will not receive fried, heavy food in kindergartens i.e. hot dishes will only be sustainable - made preserving the highest nutritional value. Sustainable meals will have to contain 80% of whole meals. In addition, the kindergartens will no longer be able to use disposable crockery because they are unsafe.

By increasing nutritional value, the maximum allowable amounts of sugar and salt and the mandatory amount of fibre in food products and meals served for children is established by making them closer to health-friendly foods which are labelled with international keyhole symbol with the international symbol of the Key Hole (WHO and EU policy on healthy food). In order to ensure food ration as variable and complete the same dishes can only be served within certain intervals.

A further innovation is the list of prohibited food products for children being supplemented by new health adverse food products: dairy products with glaze, coated, chocolate or cream, ice cream, smoked meat products (in kindergartens and schools), fried meat, poultry and fish products rolled or sprinked with breadcrumbs. Also souses with cracklings, Baltic Sea herring, steviol glycosides and sulphites.

In order to promote vegetable consumption the requirement has been established that garnish (fresh or heat-treated vegetables, excluding potatoes) account for at least 1/3 of the weight of a dish. It will also be necessary to provide children with a possibility to choose a vegetarian dish on a daily basis, and snacks will only be allowed to sell at schools if they are approved by parents.

The recommendations will be provided in case. of educational institutions entering into contracts with suppliers. It is recommended that priority should be given for ecological, health-friendly (i.e. labelled with Keyhole symbol) or national quality products, choosing of short food supply chains from farms.

In order to develop healthy and full-value nutrition habits it is recommended for schools to allow children to choose their own meals on a buffet basis. Another new requirement is that food should be served aesthetically. If children have special needs, they are provided with fitted nutrition, but they will also have a possibility to eat their own food brought from home on that day.

These innovations were prepared in consultation with not only interested state authorities, but also with associations of food producers, parental organizations and nutritionists.