Don’t just obligate, educate!
Schools seem to be willing to provide a healthier food supply in their canteens but are often discouraged from doing so because they don’t know how to make the change.
By providing training and guidance to the staff responsible for what is served in the canteen, you enable schools to develop a culture of healthier eating and thus enable students to make better choices.
We targeted school shops and canteens with a food service intervention which looked at the food available in the school environment. We trained the staff in charge of this. We conducted meetings with school shop and canteen administrators where we provided them with recommendations and guidance on how to set up an environment that offers students healthy food and drinks. Our team also helped to streamline the content of the government Decree on high-energy snacks and drinks.
All public schools were obliged to improve their school food environment. As a result students’ eating habits were positively influenced compared to students in schools where this was not enforced.
Following the success of this intervention in the schools that implemented the programme, the Ministry of Education issued a Decree limiting the sale of high-energy snacks and drinks in all Lebanese public schools.