Alarm sounded over diet quality at childcare centers

Alarm sounded over diet quality at childcare centers

Although most nursery schools and kindergartens stick to official guidelines regarding healthy nutrition for children in terms of the frequency of legumes, vegetables, poultry and meat on the menu, almost 50% offer infants and young children sweet treats once or twice a week, despite strong recommendations against foods high in added sugars.

This was the assessment by the Health Ministry’s Directorate of Public and Environmental Health following a study of the weekly menus offered in 2021 at public and private nurseries and kindergartens in 50 regional units (87 municipalities), to a total of 15,733 children.

Indicatively, 13.5% of centers did not provide vegetables often enough (once or twice a week at most), 35.3% do not offer cereals and wholemeal products on a daily basis and 46.8% served foods with added sugars such as cookies, sweetened bread, rice pudding, yogurt desserts and fruit compotes once or twice a week. 

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