Schools across the country are moving towards becoming ‘home away from home’ and looking at not just educating children but at the all-round development of the students that come to them.
Unlike the west, serving meals was not a popular culture in private non-residential schools in India where children usually carry their snacks and/or lunch from home. This is slowly becoming a norm with most private schools especially in metros and mini metros.
It is increasingly being understood that balanced nutrition is an essential component of the child’s development
Says Ms. Yasmin Khan, Principal of The Paras World School, India, “Students who eat a nutritious, balanced diet are better prepared to learn. Eating a variety of healthy foods gives you energy to do stuff, helps you grow the way you should, and can even keep you from getting sick.”
Yasmin goes on to say “The rationale for serving meals in the cbse schools is to encourage healthy eating habits amongst children. In the early-morning scramble, when parents and children rush around the house getting ready to take on respective roles for the day, some manage to pack a lunch, and if they’re conscientious and have time, it might be a healthy one….. Others just pick out of what is available off the shelf and it is almost always not the healthiest!”
School meals encourage children, especially fussy-eaters to try new foods with all their friends and teachers. This translates into healthy eating habits in young adulthood and builds a foundation for healthy eating throughout their lives.
School meals provide a great opportunity to do some” hands-on” learning about healthy eating. When teachers and Principals, who are role models, join their students in the lunchroom—not to teach, but to enjoy a meal with their students—kids learn. They learn etiquette, they learn to keep their voices down, and they learn to enjoy the meal and one another whilst also developing a taste for different cuisines!
This also ensures the freshness and variety of every meal as some children travel distances to get to School.