Importance of Right Nourishment for Students in Educational Institutes

Published on : 10/10/22
  • The importance of right nutrition in educational institutions cannot be emphasised enough. At least 8-10 hours are spent daily by students at a day school and the time stretches to a few months for students in boarding school. Hence, students are bound to have around 2-5 meals daily inside the campus. These meals can be home-packed tiffin boxes or campus-offered meals. However, with both parents being engaged in jobs today, they increasingly look forward to the educational institutes providing the due nourishment.

    According to an in-house school survey conducted by Sodexo, parents feel that availability of hot, fresh and nutritious meals, better eating habits, development of community spirit and learning social engagement are the key benefits of opting for food served at school. They look forward to schools educating children regarding ideal food choices. More than 68% of parents expect schools to provide balanced, nutritious and immunity boosting food in their daily menu. Likewise, in the higher education, universities environment, students themselves have become more aware of their food choices. Another inhouse Higher Education Survey conducted by Sodexo shows that more than 47% of our students prefer nutritious homelike comfort food to be included in their daily meals, especially low-calorie food. Interestingly, most of GenZ today displays a marked preference for plant-based food, with focus on millets, as per the survey. Therefore, schools and universities not only have the responsibility of nourishing the minds of youth, but also need to focus on providing healthy, safe, nutritious food to them, to nurture their complete potential.
    In keeping with this need, schools and universities, with able support from food service providers, are providing on-campus meals that meet the daily nutrition requirements of students along with being tasty, wholesome and hygienic. With a global footprint and decades of experience, Sodexo has teamed up with educational institutions to provide delicious and nutritious food that students love, and parents feel happy about.

    What Sodexo is doing to implement right nourishment

    Global chefs, inhouse dieticians and industry renowned nutritionists help us follow the Traffic Lights System so that the green category of foods is advocated for higher consumption. Our kitchen staff comply with over a dozen guidelines adhering to the Wellness Charter, ranging from low-salt usage to no use of artificial flavours, to ensure the health and wellbeing of students. Fresh raw food material is procured from local vendors daily; this is processed and cooked in optimally designed smart kitchens to ensure maximum nutrient conservation and consistency in taste. Emphasis is given to plant-based proteins, millets and ancient grains.

    Students are engaged in kitchen gardening in schools to help them understand the value of fresh, organic food. They feel proud to be able to contribute to their own meals. Care is taken to always keep the students aware about the nutrients they are cultivating and consuming. They are encouraged to recognise the value of food and to keep food waste to a minimum. WasteWatch programs are also implemented by the school to avoid food waste. Sustainable packaging of food is carried out to ensure the lowest carbon footprint.

    Menu is re-engineered to ensure that mouth-watering recipes can be prepared from healthy substitutes. For example, whole wheat bases are used in pizzas and oats constitute the major ingredient of muffins. Similarly, the menu is also customised for children with special dietary requirements. Gluten-free and lactose-free meals are prepared for children who need it. Meals are tailored for children who indulge in sports and also for exam days.
    Food is served in cafeterias to deliver an elevating experience. Special food halls are curated to organise food festivals. Theme-based food is prepared in these festivals, again from healthy ingredients, that serve to punctuate excitement among the students.

    Celebration of Rashtriya Poshan Maah by Sodexo

    Sodexo recently celebrated the 5th Rashtriya Poshan Maah, initiated by the Ministry of Women and Child Development across the nation from 1st September to 30th September 2022. Rashtriya Poshan Maah serves as a platform to bring focus to the discourse of nutrition and good health. Special recipes were curated for students at all the education sites, to commemorate and support the initiative, aligned with Sodexo’s mission to "Nourish the Nation’s Future". Students and parents welcomed this initiative with great enthusiasm.

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