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Kid eating some pasta

Parents in Prato can stay informed on what their children eat at school

Parents in Prato can stay informed on what their children eat at school

Careful attention is paid to a diet that features local and organic products

Last week, the Municipality of Prato informed parents that they can consult the spring/summer menu that will be offered to children in the local schools and kindergartens. This has already become an established practice of transparency in the area of children’s wellbeing, with the concern being shared between families and authorities. It recognizes the fact that the task of taking proper care of a child’s health and habits literally takes a village, as the old saying goes.

The main precepts of a Mediterranean diet should extend beyond the school cafeteria

It is no surprise that Italians consider food and the rituals around consuming it to be an important part of daily routine and also of growing up into a healthy adult. Authorities in the Tuscan city of Prato want children to look forward to their lunchtime in the school cafeteria not only as an opportunity to socialize but also as a chance to taste some new foods and enjoy a variety in one’s diet.

The proposed menus have been designed by nutritionists following the Mediterranean model and the LARN (levels of nutrient intake that has been recommended by the Italian Society of Human Nutrition). These are rich in proteins and fully able to satisfy the needs of bodies in development.

The menus can be consulted online by parents who would like to know what their kids will be having at school. Nevertheless, the municipal authorities remind that children only eat 5 of their 35 weekly meals in the cafeteria, the rest being consumed at home. That is why, they also dispense useful advice towards parents on how to make sure that they continue providing healthy and adequate nutrition to their offspring, with the creation of a good balance between ingredients, making sure there are things, such as daily breakfasts, proteins and vegetables.

In a way, the administration is inviting parents to become willing partners in the raising of their own children by also reminding them that if adults express negative attitudes towards cafeteria food this would also reflect on their kids, who tend to mirror behaviours.

The authorities have been careful to organize food product supply which heavily features locally-sourced (Tuscan) and organic products thus guaranteeing that, in fact, students can look forward to receiving high-quality nutrition. Even the bananas they get have been certified ‘fairtrade organic’.

Are you also curious to know what Prato authorities consider a healthy diet for children? Then read our article on the topic tomorrow.

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