Since this week, students from 3 primary schools in North Limburg have been receiving a hot lunch full of vegetables at school. This is a pilot, as part of a large study into eating behavior among children by Maastricht University and Wageningen University & Research (WUR).
The research is an initiative of Kokkerelli & Kids University For Cooking Foundationan educational foundation focused on healthy eating for and by children. Researchers from Maastricht University and WUR are examining, among other things, whether children like the vegetable-rich lunch. It measures how many vegetables the children eat, but also whether their attitude towards vegetables changes due to the school lunch. The researchers also assess whether eating times at home change due to the healthy lunch at school.
Nutrition class before lunch
The researchers hope that the vegetable-rich lunch will also cause children to eat more vegetables at home. It is known that the number overweight children and young people in the Netherlands is increasing and that too few students make healthy food choices. In addition, children also have little knowledge about where food comes from and what it does to the body and mind. WUR therefore also developed teaching materials for the participating schools. These are short lessons of 5 to 10 minutes, in which students work on questions, assignments and quizzes in the field of healthy nutrition before lunch.
All primary schools have a hot vegetable lunch
There are already primary schools in the Netherlands that offer students a healthy lunch on their own initiative. This is the first time that a hot, vegetable-rich meal at school has been tested on a larger scale. After the pilot, Kokkerelli hopes to apply the project to more primary schools in the Netherlands and ultimatelyt the hot vegetable lunch will become a standard school lunch in primary schools in the Netherlands.
Sources: Kokkerelli and NOS