School nutrition council

In a nutshell

This tool aims to develop school meals through the operation of a participatory school nutrition council. This body may include key school employees such as principals and teachers, catering company representatives, public authorities, customers (pupils), and their parents. The nutrition council has regular meetings, and it supervises meal provision, customer satisfaction with menus (over longer periods), and organises open day events. The nutrition council may also suggest improvements to meal provision on a wider scale, as it represents a key cross-section of public meal recipients.

Necessary Steps

  • Setting up a school nutrition council starts by inviting key stakeholders, such as the principal or assistant principal, health officer, nurse, head of the canteen, the representative of the catering company, and young people and their parents to work together.
  • This work can include learning about public meal provision, nutritional recommendations, the quality of food items prepared into meals, the origin of the ingredients, and the share of organic ingredients in their menus (over several, and at least two, weeks).
  • This work can also entail supervising the quality and quantity of the meals against standards and surveying customer satisfaction.
  • The nutrition council may discuss and debate improvements to be made in meal provision.
  • The nutrition council may act as a liaison between the many actors involved in public meal provision.
  • The nutrition council may also collect, record, and publish information about the various aspects of public meal provision.

By collaboration of civil society actors with representatives of public and private institutions to ensure the quality of public meals, the nutrition council can inspire moves towards sustainability in (other areas of) public service procurement.

More Issues To Consider

  • Sometimes high expectations cannot be met in the short term. It would be advisable to seek gradual short and medium-term improvements.
  • Sometimes strong differences in opinions call for compromises.
  • Increased collaborations can lead to new, innovative ideas and processes.

Further Information

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