‘Guidance is needed for healthier school canteens’
The Guidelines Healthier Canteens, drawn up by the netherlands Nutrition centre, to be better followed if the schools this guidance.
This is evident from a study of the Free University of Amsterdam. The Guidelines ensure that the offer in school canteens healthier.
The VU university and the Nutrition center have both the Guidelines and the Programme The Healthy school canteen will be evaluated. In total, 20 schools participated in the study.
Advance, among others, were kantinebeheerders and caterers were asked about their experiences with the Guidelines. Also was asked for ideas for tools to schools to implement.
Ten schools received guidance and also tools are offered of the Nutrition centre, including a consultation and a report with recommendations for a healthy offer in the canteen. There was also an online tool used indicating how “healthy” the canteen is.
The tool and the Guidelines were also used by the other ten schools, but were given no further guidance and assistance. Then, the two groups were compared with each other.
Later it turned out that the schools that guidance, a healthy offer in the canteen were than in the group without assistance. The first group saw the percentage of healthy products increase from an average of 46 to 77 percent, the group without the guidance of 50 to 60 percent.
The canteens of the group, with support were also improved in other ways, such as a more striking exhibition of healthy products.
“This research endorses that support is not only desirable, but also necessary for a proper implementation of the Directives Healthier Canteens in schools,” says Carry Images of the Free University of Amsterdam.
There is still to be investigated what the effect of the Guidelines on the behaviour of the pupils. Also, the Guidelines more often implemented in sportkantines and company canteens.
The Guidelines Healthier Canteens in 2014 developed with criteria for school – and sportkantines and company canteens. Here in the states that there are healthy products such as vegetables, fruit and water should be offered and less products such as soft drinks and frituurvoedsel.
In the Guidelines for a Healthier Canteens are 3 levels defined: Bronze, Silver and Gold. About a third of the schools have one of these scales earned.