The Ministry of Education, Technological and Vocational Training is reviewing the School Meals/Food and Nutrition Policy for private and public primary and secondary schools to offer healthier and more “appetizing” options for students.
Minister of Education Santia Bradshaw made the disclosure yesterday during the Heart & Stroke Foundations’ media launch of the model schools initiative. The initiative is part of the foundation’s Childhood Obesity Prevention campaign dubbed Switch It Up.
Six schools: The St. Michael School, Alexandra School, Reynold Weekes Primary, Christ Church Foundation School, The Rock Christian School and Queen’s College became no sugar zones from Tuesday, October 1.
“We have started the process of looking at the school meals policy in relation to nutrition because that obviously is something that, from our preliminary discussions, has not really been reviewed over the years.
“I encounter a number of children who complain about the school meals service sometimes; they are not satisfied with the type of food. And I think the time has now come for us to be able to evaluate what we are giving to students, to be able to look at ways we can prepare meals in a more exciting way. We are dealing with a lot of issues in relation to what children eat at home and then what we are saying to them that they must come to school and eat,” Bradshaw explained.
While lauding the Heart & Stroke Foundation for its training of vendors and school canteen operators, the Education Minister said Government needed to create a balance between entrepreneurial activity among vendors and ensuring there were healthy school environments.
She said the draft food and nutrition policy framework would focus on the sale of dishes prepared by canteen concessionaires, serving sizes sold to students and the types of snacks sold by vendors. Bradshaw contended that persons should not view the draft framework as the demise of vendors but as a “prime opportunity” for Barbadians to take entrepreneurship to a different level.