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WFP, FAO and School Meals Coalition kick off ‘Healthy school meals I prepare’

Competition highlights vital role of health and nutrition programmes in protecting children from the effects of the multiple crises we are facing – and this is how you can help
, WFP Staff Writers
A home-grown school project in Mangochi province, Malawi. Photo: Francis Thawani
A home-grown school project in Mangochi province, Malawi. Photo: Francis Thawani

Next to making sure more and more school meals are available to the most vulnerable children around the world, it is vital to ensure quality standards are met to make the meals as nutritious (and tasty!) as possible.

So the World Food Programme (WFP) and the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) have joined forces to develop a set of nutrition guidelines. 

These will be adaptable to different contexts and will provide consistency while complementing nutrition education programmes and other school policies. The aim is to ensure that the nutrition needs of schoolchildren worldwide are prioritized during these difficult times. 

A meal is prepared for primary school children in a village of Beng district, Oudomxay, in Lao People's Democratic Republic in 2017. Photo: WFP/Rein Skullerud
Meals are prepared for children at a school in the Beng district, Oudomxay, in Lao People's Democratic Republic. Photo: WFP/Rein Skullerud

One activity alongside the guideline creation is the ‘Healthy School Meals I prepare’ campaign – aimed to provide a better understanding of how the guidelines can be practically applied to not only make the meals nutritious but also appealing to children. 

Together with the School Meals Coalition – which is comprised of governments, NGOs, academic and UN agencies – WFP and FAO are calling on cooks, caterers, chefs, kitchen volunteers and anyone who works in school food services, to share with us their creative ways and ideas to incorporate nutrition guidelines into food that is liked by the children in their schools.

Children at a school in Aden receive meals as part of a WFP programme. Photo: WFP/Hebatallah Munassar
Children at a school in Aden receive meals as part of a WFP programme. Photo: WFP/Hebatallah Munassar

Through this campaign, we want to highlight the important role everyone working in school foodservice is playing to ensure that children in school eat healthy AND delicious meals – and how this shapes the children’s health and education (and, down the line, thevery direction of the countries they are growing up in).

DRC: Lunchtime for girls at a primary school for girls supported by WFP in Goma
DRC: Lunchtime for girls at a school supported by WFP in Goma. Photo: WFP/Benjamin Anguandia

For anyone wanting to learn more about how to participate in this campaign, please follow this link for further information and instructions.

The most original submissions received prior to the 31 August deadline will be showcased on Junior World Food Day on 5 October.

Pots of goodness in Kampong Chang in Cambodia. Photo: WFP/Arete/Nick Sells
Pots of goodness in Kampong Chhnang, Cambodia. Photo: WFP/Arete/Nick Sellsv​​​​​

Submissions received after that date will considered for informing joint publications and possibly featured on the social media channels of FAO, WFP and the School Meals Coalition. The deadline for that is 31 December. Try it? It's a chance to inspire millions of people all over the world.

FAO and WFP’s ‘School food nutrition guidelines and standards for safeguarding children and adolescents’ right to food’ is supported by the Federal Ministry of Food and Agriculture (BMEL) of Germany. 

Learn more about school feeding and WFP

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