Say goodbye to sugary drinks and deep-fried food

Say goodbye to sugary drinks and deep-fried food
Pre-schools will no longer be allowed to serve unhealthy options like deep-fried food, and must provide balanced meals.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

A big push to get healthier food served in schools is under way, and it will affect all students - from pre-schoolers to university undergraduates.

The intention is to get them to cultivate better eating habits from a young age, in the hope that these will stick as they grow up.

The push is part of the NurtureSG task force's series of recommendations to get young people to adopt healthy lifestyles.

With the changes, all pre-schools will no longer be allowed to serve unhealthy options such as sugary drinks or deep-fried and preserved food. Instead, they must provide balanced meals, including fruit.

More schools will also come on board the Healthy Meals in Schools Programme, which is currently being adopted by 319 out of 359 schools from the primary level to junior college.

Under this scheme, canteen stall operators must serve healthier food - such as white rice mixed with brown rice, or wholemeal bread for sandwiches.

Meanwhile, the Health Promotion Board is working with institutes of higher learning - such as universities and polytechnics - to provide healthier food options under the Healthier Dining Programme.

"At that age, you want to ensure that these young adults take personal responsibility (for their meals)," said Minister of State for Education Janil Puthucheary, who co-chaired the NurtureSG task force.

Madam Lim Siew Fern, who has two children - one in Primary 6 and the other in Secondary 3 - said that the implementation will be challenging.

The 43-year-old, who works as a purchaser, said that meals in her younger son's school always come with a piece of fruit but not all pupils eat it, leading to wastage.

This article was first published on Feb 24, 2017.
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