Close to two million students take the main meal of the day in the college, so the dining room becomes a key space for promoting healthy eating, particularly in a scenario where 40% of children between the ages of 5 and 9 years were obese or overweight. But a clear question and a direct is on the table: what I eat in the dining room of your child? The spear, the Spanish Confederation of Associations of Parents of Pupils (Ceapa) , that encourages families to actively participate in the improvement of the dining rooms. Its president, Leticia Cardinal, acknowledge that they receive frequent complaints "for the quality of food, the shortage of rations or the breach of menus".
nutrition experts, for their part, speak of an acceptable level, but very improved. Javier Aranceta, a professor of Nutrition at the University of Navarra and president of the Scientific Committee of the Spanish Society of Community Nutrition (SENC), qualifies with a 6, which reaches a 7 in those centers where parents or teachers are more involved, and points out that the weak points are in vegetables, fish and desserts. "If the company in charge of the menu uses freeze-dried powder to prepare a puree, the school will take something that you know to prairie grass, and that is not the same as if you cook it with vegetables nor in taste, nor in appearance, nor nutritionally. The same thing happens with the fish, where there is an excess of sticks in batter that should not be offered or desserts, where it is cheaper to put a palm tree of chocolate than an apple," he says.A step beyond the nutritional parameters
Recognize that with the budget that is allocated to the dining room "does not arrive to be a kitchen of excellence, to do this the families would have to assume the difference to be able to count on greater quality and eco-friendly products and craftsmen, who, without a doubt, they are highly recommended". Aranceta insists that " can't do health promotion if you do not bring the substrate of a healthy diet in schools , and to do so would not have to haggle anything, neither on the part of the authorities, or the centers, neither of parents nor of the companies that manage them".
José Manuel Moreno, coordinator of the Nutrition Committee of the Spanish Association of Pedriatría (AEP), "school menus meet all the criteria health, follow a few nutritional parameters general, but much remains to be done and are upgradeable". From the AEP recommends that "have fruit at least four of the five days and the fifth a dairy, which has white fish two times per week and do not offer by-products of the fish, the side dishes at least three times a week are vegetables and not potato chips, and bet more for the vegetables."
Moreno points out that a further step would be for you to consume in every period of the products temp is prayed that the market offers, something that in addition of nutritional is educational: "the dining room is a space to promote healthy habits and provide knowledge of gastronomy. The taste of the child is something that is educated".
From Ceapa claim that the Administration "to include social and environmental clauses in the contract of the canteen service". They also advocate for the end of the cold line (at the companies to supply the school canteen with dishes prepared in central kitchens and distributed in trays) betting for kitchens in situ, as well as menus that incorporate more fresh vegetables, and seasonal and ecological. "The mobilization of the families can change things. It has happened with the withdrawal of panga or tilapia eaters of the various territories," says Cardinal.
One of the main companies of the sector of the restoration of the school is Serunion . Their director of Quality assurance, Juan Luis Celis, points out that the menus of cold line cook with the same raw materials that we use in the kitchens of the centres, with the same people, just with a technology that allows us to last longer." It further insists that "the nutritional quality of what they eat the children is guaranteed and controlled, it is not something you leave to chance. There is a whole team of dietitians to elaborate and comply with all applicable sanitary and quality standards." In addition, it points to the concern by educating you on healthy habits, and to this end have launched an initiative where students of 2,000 schools to those that serve can speak out about the ingredients and the preparation of the recipes of the school menu .
What is certain is that what they eat in school is of concern to families, and are becoming more and more administrations, and centers committed to promoting the consumption of organic foods as an alternative. The recent report "The school canteens in Spain . The diagnosis of the proposals for improvement", carried out by The Field to Cole, Car Combat and SEO/BirdLife, proposes alternatives to the prevailing model. "We want to raise awareness about the reality of school canteens. We are committed to promote change towards a more sustainable model in all aspects: environmental, social, and educational," explains Andrés Muñoz, from the platform Of the Field to Cole.
The report highlights that a 63.6% of the centers used the external services of catering , while only 36.4% has a kitchen in situ. Of the communities that have contributed data is Galicia the more centers with kitchens, own, has, 333 front 103 of catering, and at the opposite end is Andalusia, where only 107 schools have kitchen in front of the 1.150 that hire external services. In addition, it calls attention to the fact that 58% of the market of collective catering in school canteens is managed by only four companies. Muñoz agreed that the school canteen is an ideal place to educate them in habits of consumption and power. But to do this, "we need a greater awareness of the teaching staff, the executive team and of the families," he added, while asking for an effort of the Administration in this regard.Updated Date: 20 September 2019, 00:00