Restricting unhealthy food in schools has led to more nutritious meals, but higher costs.
Serving meals with less fat, sugar and salt, plus a serving of fruit adds to costs – but more than half of Singapore schools have put health first.
A Health Promotion Board spokesman told The Straits Times that 209 out of over 360 schools, including junior colleges, have joined its Healthy Meals in Schools Programme.
The initiative was set up in 2011 so institutions could play a part in developing good eating habits from young.
Of the number, 15 had joined this year, and the initiative “has seen a steady growth over the last four years,” its spokesperson added.
Drinks without the Healthier Choice tag, pre-deep-fried items and putting sweeteners in fresh fruit juices are not allowed.
Schools serve set meals that contain food from four main groups, featuring brown rice, wholemeal bread, meat, fruit and vegetables among others.
Cooks and canteen vendors attend training sessions to learn about healthier cooking methods such as grilling instead of frying.
Consumers are bearing the cost. Prices of meals at institutions such as the School of Science and Technology, which now range from $2.30 to $2.50, have gone up by about 30 cents.
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