Thirty new schools to get advice this year on offering healthier and more sustainable menus

This school year will see thirty schools join in with the project ‘Healthier and more sustainable school canteens’, the goal being to improve children’s health through better and more balanced diets based on local produce. Supervised by the Barcelona Public Health Agency (ASPB), the project has been trialled at six city schools over the past year.

10/01/2021 10:19 h

Ajuntament de Barcelona

The trial at six city schools has helped address a trend which had been identified at most schools. In general, schools were not observing the recommended monthly consumption levels of a maximum of 6 portions of meat and a minimum of 6 portions of vegetable protein as a main course. Nearly 7 out of 10 schools were not offering vegetable protein as a main course, and 3 out of 10 were offering none at all.

The thirty schools taking part in the project will get support from the ASPB to review and gradually improve their menus with more vegetable protein and less red meat and processed meat. The intention is for all other schools to follow suit in the 2021-2022 school year.

As one of the measures from the city’s climate emergency declaration, the initiative forms part of the city’s agenda as the world sustainable food capital for 2021. This role calls for the development of public policies geared towards building a fairer, healthier and more environmentally friendly food model.

Food habits

It is worth remembering that ASPB surveys show there is room for improvement in the eating habits of children and teenagers. Some 78% of children aged 3 to 4, and 42% of teenagers and young people between the ages of 13 and 19 eat meat at least three times a week, a consumption level considered to be excessive.

In addition, 43% of children aged 8 to 9 consume industrial pastries and 80% of teenagers consume sugar-heavy soft drinks more often than is recommended, over three times a month, while 80% do not eat the recommended daily quantity of five pieces of fruit or portions of vegetables.


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