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Nutritionally balanced school meal model for a comprehensive school

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Purpose ‐ This paper seeks to construct and describe a nutritionally balanced school meal model for a comprehensive school. The aim of the model is to illustrate an holistic view to school meals based on the pupils' needs. Design/methodology/approach ‐ The paper introduces Maslow's hierarchy of needs and eight theoretical views to school meals. The empirical data were collected in 2007 from the pupils (168), their parents (82) and the school officials (42) of four comprehensive schools in Finland by using a structured questionnaire which included open questions. Consequently, a description of a nutritionally balanced school meal model for a comprehensive school was constructed. Findings ‐ A constructed model for serving school meals consists of the following views: pupil's needs; nutrition, food choice and waste views; well-being and energy; education; social-ecological environment and school meal environment, as well as maintaining good health and preventing health problems. The model is structured according to the theoretical views as well as suggestions from the pupils, parents, and experts. Also the subjects responsible for the activities are included. Practical implications ‐ The constructed nutritionally balanced school meal model can be utilized as a standard model when serving school meals in a comprehensive school. Originality/value ‐ The model may act as a reference model for the school catering organisations and the school officials when decisions related to school meals are made.

Keywords: Children (age groups); Finland; Food service; Modelling; Nutrition; Schools

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: 2011-02-15

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