School meals: snack machines vs. health food

School meals: snack machines vs. health food

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Many of our clients are parents, therefore it is not surprising that every one of them thinks about health and wellbeing of their child. Nowadays organizing school meals is one of the critical issues on the list. One of the essential moments is school meals.

So, what Georgian law says about organization of school meals?

Article 33, paragraph 2/d of the Law of Georgia «On General Education» reads:

«A general educational institution is authorized to ensure the availability of a medical center on the school territory, including psychological aid and nutrition points, for the protection of the health and full development of students.»

What is meant by «ensure availability» ?

After all, meals can be healthy or not so healthy. Is it correct that schools have snack machines that sell various sweets, soda water (Coca-Cola, Fanta, etc.), chips and all sorts of “junk food” that harm the health of a child?

The Minister of Education and Science of Georgia takes care of our students, and issued Order No. 410 “On Approving Recommendations for the Organization of School Nutrition”, on May 05, 2017 based on the recommendation of the Ministry of Health, which says in black and white that it is necessary to develop healthy eating skills and supply students with the necessary nutrition. It is recommended to prohibit the use of the following products in organizing school meals: sweets, chocolates, mayonnaise products, canned products, and much more. The same order contains food recommended for school children, such as water, juices, fruit drinks, yoghurts, fruits and vegetables. As for snack machines, there is no direct prohibition on their installation in schools, but if you are concerned about the availability of such a device with “snacks”, it is better to inform the Ministry about this.

Where to report an installed snack machines, and who monitors compliance by schools with these recommendations?

The same Order No. 410 (Clause 2) states that the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia, the Department of General Education together with the administration of the state school should monitor this process. Therefore, suspicions of violation must be reported to the Ministry of Education and Science of Georgia so that they can quickly respond to this problem.

Remember, health is very important, so take care of yourself and, of course, care for the health of your children.