Hot meal in schools: what students will be fed with

The Executive approved the application rules for the Hot Meals in Schools Pilot Program 2022/2023. The program is in its seventh edition, this year extended to 350 schools, compared to 300 last year.

The pilot food support program for students will take place in 350 schools Photo: Archive

The program is in its seventh edition, this year extended to 350 schools, compared to 300 last year. After the regulation is approved, the auctions are organized and then the actual show itself, so it is not known exactly when students will actually receive these hot meals.

The regulation provides that, depending on the case, the students who attend the schools included in the program can benefit from a hot meal prepared in their own regime where the school has a canteen and an adequate space to serve the meal; a hot meal in the restaurant, where there is no canteen, the food can be served in the classroom or in another space provided for this purpose, or a food package kept until the moment of service in a space protected by a security point food of sight.

Without additives and preservatives

According to the regulatory act, a food package must contain 80 grams of sliced ​​bread, bars or buns of wholemeal flour, this represents 50% of the total weight of the package; 40 grams of meat, cheese or dairy products, which represent 25% of the weight of the package and 40 grams of vegetables – tomatoes, cucumbers, lettuce -, to which a fruit is added. Pre-packaged food products must be properly labeled, with information on the product name, list of ingredients, substances that may cause allergies, quantity, expiration date, storage conditions and nutrition declaration.

The mandatory rules to be followed in the preparation of the meal provide that in the case of hot dishes the addition of food additives, preservatives or flavor enhancers is not allowed. Furthermore, the products of animal or non-animal origin from which these dishes are prepared must not contain additives or other substances accepted beyond the limits established by current legislation. The oil used for the preparation is used only once, and the onions prepared in the first stage of cooking are not fried, but stewed in water. At the same time, the iodized salt used must not contain anti-caking agents or other additives and it is recommended to avoid combining foods of the same group with the dishes served. For example, for lunch, Course 1 and Course 2 will not be served primarily with carbohydrates – cereals, such as dumpling and steak soup with a side of pasta, but vegetables. Foods or combinations that require a lot of digestion, such as bean stew with yogurt or compote, as well as fried ground beef, are prohibited. It is recommended to serve the eggs as an omelette in the oven and not as Romanian or fried eggs, and the ration of vitamins and minerals should be enriched by using raw vegetable salads and adding leafy greens to soups and soups. Creams with eggs and whipped cream, mayonnaise are prohibited regardless of the season. The delivered food must be prepared on the morning of the day it is to be served.

Recommended menu options

As indicative menu options, specialists from the National Institute of Public Health recommend vegetable soup; chicken soup with vegetables; beef soup with vegetables; vegetables with grilled chicken breast; pea dish with chicken breast; pilaf with vegetables and chicken legs; carrot puree with grilled chicken; mashed potatoes with turkey breast; dish of sweet cabbage with roast in the oven; vegetable pot with chicken; broccoli soufflé; potatoes au gratin with grilled chicken breast.

The hours of the canteen service and the time dedicated to this activity are established by the direction of the teaching unit, according to the number of students, the school timetable and the particularities of each teaching unit.

The pilot program takes place only during class, not on holidays or rest days, and is coordinated by the Ministry of Education.

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