Healthy School Canteens. Manual for School Canteens

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On September 5, 2012, the Ministry of Health, in partnership with the National Federation of Private Schools, launched the Manual of Healthy School Canteens: promoting healthy eating in Porto Alegre (RS) with the objective of encouraging private school canteens to transform themselves into healthy canteens, which sell nutritious and less caloric foods.

As explained in the text "Healthy Eating in School Canteens”, we know this is best for the health of children. But, is it really worth it, in a financial sense, for the owners of such establishments to bring about such a change?

To reach a conclusion about this, let's look at the results obtained in similar projects:

Since 2001, the project "The school promoting healthy eating habits" exists in the Federal District, which aims to promote healthy eating in the school environment. This project is linked to the Food Security and Nutrition Observatory of the University of Brasília, which has as one of its lines of research the promotion of healthy eating. Thus, this Observatory carried out a study with children from 4th to 7th grades in one of the schools participating in the project, in which a normal canteen was transformed into a healthy canteen. The survey result showed that

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98% of the students interviewed liked the new type of canteen and 33% of the students increased their consumption of healthy foods after the changes were implemented.

Students are encouraged to eat healthy foods through changes in school canteens

Another study, carried out by the same project, found that 66.7% of snack barsschoolchildren who encouraged and offered the opportunity to consume healthy snackss had their profit increased between 30% and 50%.

Therefore, the healthy canteen is a good business!

So, if you want to put this type of canteen into practice, the “Healthy School Canteen Manual: promoting healthy eating” will be of great help. In short, some tips given are:

  • search more information on what is healthy eating. If possible, seek advice from a nutritionist;
  • Inform your employees about the changes and how each should participate;
  • Contact the school to show your intent. Show the importance for the health of the students of this project, show that it is also an advantage, as it is something that parents want and study with the school a way to communicate to parents about the desired changes in the canteen;
The canteen owner must hold meetings with the school to inform about the move to a healthy canteen
  • Look for institutions such as SEBRAE and SENAC for hygiene training for their employees, in addition to training and improvement coursescontinuous.
  • Advertising has a great influence on what food to buy, especially on children and teenagers. Therefore, replace the advertisements from industrialized foods, high in sugar or high in calories, to posters with pictures and photographs of healthy foods. Also, write phrases encouraging the feeding of these products. Also tell health food suppliers to place their advertisements in their store. But, select the best ones not to cause visual pollution. These advertisements must be changed periodically;
Advertising in canteens induces students to eat the advertised foods
  • put the more healthy food in sight of customers and the less healthy in places with less visibility;
  • Visit other canteens considered healthy and contact their owners to get ideas that can be implemented;
  • Upon purchase, talk pleasantly with the customer about the advantage of the most nutritious food.
Value healthy foods in your cafeteria

By Jennifer Fogaça
Graduated in Chemistry

Source: Brazil School -

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