All mainstream schools now offer healthier food choices

This article is more than 12 months old

All mainstream schools now offer healthier food, as part of a broader initiative to help young people adopt better habits.

This was announced by the Education and Health ministries in a press release yesterday.

Under the Healthy Meals in Schools scheme, canteen stall operators must serve healthier food - such as white rice mixed with brown and wholemeal bread sandwiches.

The initiative, started in 2011, was gradually introduced to more schools over the past few years.

Under the scheme, cooks and canteen vendors were also given training by nutritionists and chefs on healthier cooking methods, such as baking and grilling, instead of frying.

At some schools, pupils pay between 10 and 30 cents more for the higher cost of healthier ingredients, and extra servings of fruit that now come with their meals.

A series of programmes aimed at fostering healthy behaviour among the young has also been progressively rolled out in various institutions, and progress was made on several fronts, said both ministries.

Between January and April, over 2,200 parents and children took part in the Health Promotion Board's pilot Active and Healthy Weekends programme, with fitness activities and family-friendly programmes at community sites.

Some schools, such as Fernvale Primary School and Paya Lebar Methodist Girls' School (Primary), have also provided students with greater access to sports equipment and facilities outside formal curriculum hours, so they can play sports during recess.

Support for young people's mental health is also being stepped up.

The Ministry of Education has started training school staff on how to look out for signs of mental stress in students, and provide support for those who need help.

These courses will be conducted in phases over the next two years.

Students will also be trained on how to look out for the mental well-being of their peers.