Various stakeholders; politicians, municipalities, school authorities, public health authorities, food industry, catering services, school chefs and researchers share responsibility of delivering quality meals in schools
The project covers current practices in delivery of school meals and explains the concept behind Technology Platforms - Food for Life. Open innovation methods to stimulate industry driven innovation projects are described. Such methods have proven useful to improve variety of healthy and tasty food choices.
The need for education and training in the catering sector has been identified and improvements for in delivery of quality school meals recommended. Priority areas for research and innovation to promote Healthy Choices for Children have been defined and future actions of the Nordic Network of National Technology Platforms – Food for Life suggested.
A thorough overview of the school meal system in all the Nordic countries has been established in the project. Common obstacles have been identified and the concern in all the countries is that children do not eat the food that is offered to them. Various projects and activities, described in chapter 6, have demonstrated key success factors related to serving nutritious, attractive meals to school children, so they will consume a diverse and nutritionally balanced diet at school.
Key Success Factors:
- Legislation that ensures healthy food in schools
- Tools for quality assurance of the school meal
- Good guidelines and management of catering staff
- Collaboration between different disciplines and responsible stakeholders Main Obstacles
- Not all children eat the food that is offered to them
- Budget strains are affecting quality of meals
- Lack of knowledge to follow nutritional guidelines
- Lack of respect for school catering from politicians and school authorities