Healthy Schools, Healthy Kids
By Student Dietitians; Inoka Perera, Araceli Llanos Jeri and Catherine Yet
Schools can be more than class and homework. Kids all over the world now are facing obesity and hunger. The World Health Organisation (WHO) says that schools can be part of promoting health to kids. Schools are the best place to start promoting health because children spend most of their time at school.
The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has two models that can help us create healthy schools worldwide. These models are:
- School Food and Nutrition Framework
- School Food and Nutrition Education Plan
The School Food and Nutrition Framework helps to improve the health of all school children and their communities. It helps create healthy communities worldwide by improving all the steps involved in bringing food from the ground to our plates. The framework has 4 parts (Figure 1):
Figure 1: FAO’s School Food and Nutrition Framework (Source: FAO, 2019)
The School Food and Nutrition Education Plan is a plan to help the poorer countries in the world. The plan:
- teaches school children about good food habits
- helps build healthy cities that will last for many years.
In NSW, the government works hard to promote healthy eating in schools. It aims to reduce overweight and obesity rates by five percent in 2025. To achieve this, the Nutrition in Schools Policy lists out steps for schools to follow. For example, schools need to teach nutrition to all students and apply the Healthy School Canteen Strategy.
The Healthy Kids Association helps schools to promote health in many ways. For example, HKA:
- makes resources to help schools teach about healthy food
- helps schools to organise healthy eating events such as ‘Fruit and Veg Month’ and ‘Vegetable Week and the Big Vegie Crunch’
- shares healthy food ideas in their magazine, e-newsletter, website, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram
- helps food businesses make healthy school foods to sell in school canteens
- helps school canteens to create healthy menus that meet the ‘Healthy Kids Nutrient Criteria’ and guidelines for their state or territory.
FAO 2019, School Food and Nutrition Framework, Rome. 36 pp.
FAO 2020, School-based food and nutrition education – A white paper on Rome’s current state, principles, challenges, and recommendations for low- and middle-income countries. https://doi.org/10.4060/cb2064en
NSW Government 2021, Nutrition in Schools Policy, viewed on 11 August 2021
WHO 2021, Health Promoting Schools, viewed 12th August 2021,