The school environment plays an important role in nurturing and sustaining good eating habits. Most students consume at least one snack or one meal in their school canteen on most days of the week over a period of several years.
In view of this, the Healthy Meals in Schools Programme (HMSP) seeks to enhance the availability of healthier food and beverage choices in schools through an integrated programme involving teachers, canteen vendors and students. The Health Promotion Board (HPB), in collaboration with the Ministry of Education (MOE), actively encourages schools to participate in this programme.
Canteen vendors from participating schools are expected to follow food service guidelines which aim to encourage canteen vendors to cut down fat, sugar and sodium and serve wholegrain, fruit and vegetables in the meals; and serve healthy set meals. These healthy set meals incorporate food from the four main food groups – brown rice and wholemeal bread, meat and others, vegetables and fruit – thereby helping students receive the right nutrients necessary for their growing needs.
Schools are encouraged to monitor the food and beverages sold in the school to ensure the adherence to the guidelines. To monitor school canteen vendors’ compliance with HMSP guidelines, participating schools are assessed by nutritionists commissioned by HPB. A report is given to schools after assessment to help canteen vendors improve their compliance with HMSP guidelines.
In addition to the assessment of food and beverages sold in schools, HPB supports participating schools by:
Conducting briefings for the School Canteen Committee to guide them in monitoring the food sold in schools.
Providing educational resources which encourage students to eat healthily.
Providing canteen vendors with suitable advice for the provision of healthier meals using healthier ingredients.